The Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) has urged the Lagos State Government for the provision of small repayable loans for members, in order to purchase water taxies to meet with international best practices.
Gani Tarzan Balogun, National President of the association made the plea, when the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu donated one hundred bags of rice and three hundred bags of garri to the organised body of registered boat operators in Lagos.
Speaking during the official distribution of the palliatives at the Ikoyi head office for the association and witnessed by the Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr Damilola Emmanuel, Mr Balogun assured the governor that ATBOWATON would at all times work closely with the government to grow and improve the business of water transportation especially in Lagos and the country.
According to a statement, the President requested for small repayable loans for association members and also to drive water-based recreation and visits to beaches and resorts when the lockdown is lifted.
Balogun who also donated cartons of sanitizers to members of his association to support the Governor’s gesture expressed deep appreciation of the members of the association to Governor Sanwo-Olu.
The food items presented to the association through the office of Lagos State Waterways Authority was to help members of the association and their families to cushion the effects of the lockdown because of COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on their business.
The association with over one thousand members scattered around the six zones of Lagos State were affected by the lockdown directives, as their services were withdrawn from carrying passengers to avoid the spread of the infectious disease.
Balogun known in the maritime tourism circles as the Boatman noted that the Governor has worked really hard to convince boat operators in the state that their welfare and service are important and appreciated since he came on board.
He said that” We at ATBOWATON believe the governor meant well and his commitment to us and visible interventions through the state Transportation ministry and regulatory agency, LASWA, are part of the ongoing efforts to help ATBOWATON remain strong and relevant, and to send us these palliatives, further reinforced the love to our families affected by the lockdown.”
ATBOWATON President disclosed that the gesture was to help members and their clients sustain the requirements of the COVID 19 protocols, and stem the spread of the pandemic to the rural communities, mostly the frontline clients of the boat operators.
Speaking on behalf of the Governor, Damilola disclosed that the State Government believes that ATBOWATON members deserve the care and love of the State in times like this, considering the huge sacrifices they have made and expected to make even post COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Governor, the transportation Commissioner and all of us at LASWA appreciate ATBOWATON members.

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