Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu has donated one hundred bags of rice and three hundred bags of garri to the organised body of registered boat operators in Lagos; Association of Tourist Boat operators and water Transporters of Nigeria ( ATBOWATON).
The food items were presented to the association through the office of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) so as to help members of the association and their families to cushion the effects of the lockdown occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic.
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members scattered around the six zones of Lagos State, were affected by the lockdown directives, as their services were withdrawn from picking passengers to avoid the spread of the infectious disease.
Gani Tarzan Balogun, National president of the association who also donated cartons of sanitizers to members of his association to support the Governor’s gesture, expressed the deep appreciation of the members of the association to Governor Sanwo-olu.
Tarzan 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.
” 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 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 lock down.” he explained
Speaking during the official distribution of the palliatives at the Victoria island head office of the association and witnessed by the managing director of LASWA, Mr damilola Emmanuel, Mr Balogun assured the governor that ATBOWATON would endeavor at all times to work closely with the government to grow and improve the business of water transportation in Lagos nay the country, requesting for small repayable loans for atbowaton members in order to purchase water taxies to meet with best global standard and to also drive water based recreation and visits to beaches and resorts when the lockdown is lifted.
Donating cartons of sanitizers from his company Tarzan marine enterprises, Atbowaton president disclosed that the gesture was to help the 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.
Emmanuel Damilola, speaking during the occasion stated that Governor Sanwo-olu believe 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. Notably, this intervention is the message of the future, our intention is to sustain the relationship and all, to the glory of God.” the LASWA boss added.
Gani Tarzan Balogun and LASWA GM Damilola Emmanuel at the palliatives handover