By Izuchukwu Ozoemena
The Lagos state government has approved the construction of nine jetties to aid transportation in the riverine areas of the state.
Engr. Teslim Balogun, Director of Special Projects, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, disclosed this while responding to questions on the seeming neglect of the huge potentials waterways in Lagos could offer to improve public transportation especially in the riverine areas.
According to him, contracts already awarded for the construction of the nine jetties are almost at the completion stage. Apart from the construction of new jetties, the government has also carried out the channelization of four ferry routes.
He said with the population of the state rising in leaps and bounds, there is the need to compliment the predominantly road-based transportation system in the state with water mode in order to move larger number of people from one place to the other.
“Presently, the special projects department is handling the channelization of ferry routes and the Ministry has identified about 15 routes for execution.
“And you know the purpose of channelization dredging is because most of our water bodies are shallow; they can’t take big boats. So, what we did was to create a path of 40 metres wide and four metres minimum depth to accommodate bigger boat movement.
“And it costs a lot of money and that is why we have decided to do it in phases. The first phase consists of just four that we are presently embarking on, and these are Ijede-Badore (6km), Bayeku–Ajah (7km) and Ebute Ojo-Marina that is about 25km. But what we are dredging is about (10km) because that area requires dredging. We also have Ijede-Marina. The length is about 29km but the dredgeable stretch is just (16km). These four constitute the first phase of our activity.
“The other 11 routes include Mile 2-Marina, Badore-Five Cowries, Ebute Ojo-Erewe, Oworonshoki–Five Cowries and Agboyi-Ketu, Agboyi – Oworonshoki. Others are Ikorodu- Oworonshoki, Mile12-Agboyi Ketu, Ajah-Five Cowries, Oworonshonki-Ebute Ero and Bayeku-Lamgbasa.
“The first four constitutes the first phase, while the next four will be handled before the end of this year”, he announced.