By Cliffsimeon Akalonu
President, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), Mr Gani Tarzan Balogun on Wednesday, commissioned a boat jetty at Gbaji Yeke, Badagry West local government of Lagos State, to ease traffic and safety of growing members of boat operators and water users in the area.
Speaking during the inauguration, Mr Gani Tarzan Balogun, praised the initiatives of the Gbaji Yeke jetty facilitator, Engineer Joseph Phillip, for putting up the facility and constructed it in line with extant safety regulations of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
Mr Balogun reiterated that under his watch as ATBOWATON President, more of such water transportation facilities will be provided by prominent ATBOWATON members across the state to help rural littoral communities to move “to and from’ other communities and the city centres, thereby driving development, speedy rural growth and creation of jobs.
“As much as we appreciate the support given to us to manage some jetties in Lagos by NIWA and Lagos State government, we are not unrelenting in our support to provide more jetties to most unreached communities in the state as veritable partners to national and states water transportation development agenda,” stating that, even though it’s an expensive venture, ATBOWATON believes that it is part of our mandate to help unlock and link the treasures in most remote communities in Lagos and help drive rural development as well as create jobs”, he said.
The ATBOWATON President also praised the dedication and sacrifice of the Badagry chapter Chairman,, Mr. Tope Fajemirokun for making Badagry the new bride of water transportation in Lagos State, adding that Gbaji Yeke jetty will help to solve the demand for additional jetty facilities in and around every strategic intra water transportation ecology between Badagry West local government, Ogun state and Porto Novo.
Engineer Shehu Shuaibu, who represented NIWA Lagos Area Manager, Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah; commended ATBOWATON and the Gbaji Yeke jetty facilitator, engineer Joseph Phillip for the construction of all the important jetty but warned that it must not be used for illegal activities such as smuggling or to aid anti developmental activities.
Engineer Shuaibu further stated that the NIWA Area Office in Lagos, will mount surveillance on the use of the jetty and warned boat operators to strictly adhere to the use of the orange coloured life jacket sanctioned by International Maritime Organisation (IMO), noting that NIWA Lagos, will begin massive enforcement from the month of May.