Fashola Commissions Ferry Services From Ikorodu To Marina
• Restates commitment to multimodal transportation system
Apr 21, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Tuesday commissioned the Ebute Ipakodo Metroferry Service in Ikorodu with a commitment that his administration will deliver a multimodal Mass Transportation System that will raise the quality of life of the people of Lagos.
Governor Fashola told the capacity audience of top government functionaries, traditional rulers and private sector operators at the jetty that his administration has signed onto the provision of multimodal mass transportation system which requires not only the use of water but also the roads and the rails.
“Multimodal mass transportation is something that this State has signed onto and it requires us to use not only God’s gift – water – but also the roads and the rails which by His grace we will soon deliver to Lagos,” the Governor said, adding that the efficiency of transportation or lack of it determines the quality of life that people live.
The Governor, who traced the history of transportation from the early days of the use of camels, noted that man, to whom God gave dominion, has continued to reinvent himself so that he has, over the years, reduced travel time from many days and weeks to just a few hours from one part of the world to the other.
Advancing other reasons for multimodal mass transportation system, the Governor said, “Our environment is threatened and therefore transportation solutions, housing solutions, security solutions and waste management solutions must be responsive to the demands of the environment”,
“The whole world, including Lagos, is looking at mass transportation in a multimodal system to reduce the threat and the challenge of global warming and climate change. The challenge is how to take the greatest number of people with the fewest number of vehicles and therefore reduce carbon emission and protect our lives and also protect the environment” the Governor said.
Governor Fashola, who expressed joy that the residents of Ikorodu are already benefiting from the water transportation through reduced stress, declared, “I assure you that it is not only goods and passengers that we will always carry. We see a long-term plan that would enable us solve some of the problems that seem to have confounded us as a nation, problems that are inflicting pains not only on operators of businesses but also on the citizens”, adding that this would also provide opportunity for the transportation of fuel through water.
He said that although the difficulties existing in the transport sector in the State today were not the creation of the present administration, “our administration has moved on from passing blames to taking responsibility anytime there is a challenge”.
Governor Fashola said similar jetties which, according to him, are being replicated in locations across the State, would be capable of berthing ferries of 500 passenger capacity and would also provide packing and operational depots for cars, buses, and BRT so that as commuters leave the ferries they get into either cars, buses, or BRT to complete their journey. According to him, provision will also be made for berthing of pontoons that would ferry cars across the water for those who wish to drive their cars.
The Governor expressed gratitude to President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua and the Federal Government for releasing to the State some of the disused jetties as a response to appeals by the State Government to enable it roll out quickly by refurbishing existing jetties while constructing new ones, adding “ Our people have taken over these jetties and very soon we will be handing over, after they have been refurbished, to the operators who have applied to partner with us on the project”.
Governor Fashola commended members of the Lagos State House of Assembly with out whom, he noted, there would not have been either a Lagos State Waterways Authority Law or indeed a Lagos State Waterways Authority. He added that an agency, the Lagos State Waterways Guards Corps, has sprung out as first responders in insuring safety of lives and property.
“I want to be very clear about this. Wherever there are human activities, accidents will happen. Our responsibility is to reduce it to the barest minimum and to ensure that when they do happen we can respond to ensure that no life is lost”, Governor Fashola said.
He also commended a member representing Ikorodu in the National Assembly, Honourable (Mrs.) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, whom he noted, has led the cause of not only Ikorodu town but also Lagos State within the State, the country and even outside the country.
The Governor also thanked Messrs Metroferry Marine Services Limited, operators of Metroferry Services, for their courage to take the plunge in spite of the challenges and assured the company of his administration’s preparedness to work with it to realize its vision and objectives in the project.
Also thanking Lagosians for their support and believe in his administration, Governor Fashola declared, “Your believe in us is a challenge to us. It drives us more than you can ever imagine”.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Metroferry Marine Services Limited, Mr. Uyi Giwa-Osagie thanked Governor Fashola for providing the opportunity of Public Private Participation (PPP) which according to him, enabled the company to invest in the services.
The CEO, who said about 1.5 million people live in Ikorodu, pointed out that through the services of the company, travel time from Ikorodu to Lagos has been reduced from four hours to between 40 and 50 minutes, adding that this has been as a result of the new way of service and the new way of thinking of the present administration.
According to him, “This service has turned from a business into a public service. It is a public service when people walk up to you and say “you have healed my hypertension. It is a public service when a woman comes to you and says “thank you, you have saved my home.”, adding that children can now see their parents as they return from work.
Thanking the Governor for the opportunity given the company to partner with the Government in the project, Giwa-Osagie requested the Government to assist it in rehabilitating the access road to the jetty and also to remove an abandoned dredger and a barge obstructing traffic on the water.
Also speaking at the occasion, the State Commissioner for Transportation, Prof. Bamidele Badejo, expressed joy at the commissioning saying that with the flag-off of the jetty and others, traffic congestion in the State would be a thing of the past. He added that huge resources which would have been committed to road construction would be channeled to other areas of need.
The Commissioner also thanked the company for taking advantage of the conducive investment climate provided by the State Government and urged other private organizations to toe the same line.
Also present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Princess Adebisi Sosan, Honourable (Mrs.) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, members of the State Executive Council, some member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Chairman of Metroferry Marine Services Ltd. Mr. Akin Kekere-Ekun, Traditional Rulers and other top government functionaries as well as prominent indigenes of the town.
Other projects inspected by Governor Fashola in Ikorodu include the Origin Garden, Maternal Child Centre of the General Hospital Ikorodu and Ikorodu High Court. The Governor also commissioned the fully equipped block of classrooms in United Primary School, Itamaga Junction, Ikorodu.