The Lagos State Government and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have disclosed that the duo would be joining forces in the area of improving efficiency of waterways and ferry services across the state for safety of Lagosians.
They added that the collaboration had been formed to ensure smooth services and safety of passengers and efficient cargo transportation on the waterways across the state to reduce the burden of road traffic and provide reliable intermodal options for commuters.
The duo hinted that the partnership would see to the certification and training for small boat operators, removal of wreckages, improved coastline rotation and clearing of the waterways to ensure smooth waterways and ferry services operations across the state.
Speaking on the move, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, expressed his administration’s readiness to partner and synergise with NIMASA and other relevant federal agencies in areas of comparative advantages for the growth and development of the state waterways.
Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance yesterday when he receive in audience the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh and other top officials of the federal agency, who paid a courtesy visit to him at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.
The governor while stressing the need for collaboration between the state and NIMASA, disclosed that Lagos State was responsible for over 70 per cent maritime activities in Nigeria and that his administration has put in place many plans and policies to improve the blue economy in Nigeria through business opportunities in the maritime sector.
Sanwo-Olu noted that the Lekki Deep Port would be commissioned before the end of his administration to decongest the Apapa Port, and that several investments been committed into the maritime sector when completed would increase businesses and revenues for NIMASA.
“We are at the stage of completing 15 jetties in the state. We have moved over 250,000 passengers through our ferry services in less than a year. Our plan is to develop the waterways where people do a lot. It is a deliberate strategy we need to look at.
“As a government, we are ready to work hand in hand with you. We will commission the Lekki Port before the end of this administration so we can decongest Apapa. We are willing and ready. We want to see that real synergy,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Director-General of NIMASA commended Lagos government for ensuring that the state was the safest maritime domain in the country based on how the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration has addressed insecurity in the state.
Jamoh, who disclosed that 70 to 80 per cent of the goods coming in and out of the country are from Lagos, noted that in spite of high rate of insecurity in the maritime sector in the country, Lagos remains the only state that has the highest maritime security.
He maintained that the maritime industry, if well harnessed could help the country diversify and end its reliance on oil, adding that the Blue economy, which is the use of the ocean for economic growth, would increase livelihood and enhance the wellbeing of our people.
Jamoh indicated that the areas of partnership between Lagos State Government and NIMASA, would include fishery, safety on the waterways, ferry services, waste management on the sea, extension and development of the shipping industry.