By DAPO OLAWUNI
There are indications that traders and customers operating at Alaba International Market would now have easier access to the market through the waterways as the Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association (WABOTAN) has just constructed a jetty linking stakeholders to the jetty and thereby boosting Lagos State economy in terms of revenue generation.
Confirming this to DAILY TREND recently, Comrade Ramon Babatunde, Public Relations Officer of WABOTAN Lagos Chapter said the jetty would further improve the revenue of the state, empower traders and reduce the hardships of traffic gridlock on the roads.
According to him, the association in its effort to also grow its revenue is building boats which would be operating on the waterways and bringing in money.
Comrade Ramon said “There is one WABOTAN Jetty completed now which would help Lagos economy a lot. The jetty links to Alaba International Market and it would take care of people coming from other part of the country to buy goods from Alaba International. It would ease the stress they are passing through on the road.
“One of the key areas we have identified for revenue generation is at jetties controlled by WABOTAN, apart from government owned ones.
We are also looking at acquisition of our own boat, so that through that boat, we would be generating revenue”
Comrade Ramon expressed the association’s excitement at the reduction of boat mishaps on Lagos Waterways, saying that WABOTAN in partnership with National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has sensitized boat drivers and passengers continuously.
“If you look at precious years, we have negative news of constant boat mishaps. WABOTAN is disturbed by this, and so, we mapped out a plan that at every jetty, all the necessary rules and regulations that has to be taken upon before a passenger or a boat driver embark on a journey is adhere to.
“A passenger must ensure that they make use of the safety jacket before stepping into the boat.
Secondly, we ensure that no boat is allowed to take more than the number of passengers they are allowed to take.
“Most of the causes of the boat mishaps is that sometimes, the driver wants to collect money while driving, so, we make sure that before they move from the jetty, their money must have been collected.
“We also tried to locate where we have wrecks, especially on the Ikorodu axis, wrecks is the major cause of these mishaps.
“We identified these wrecks and three weeks ago, we put up a team which supervised the wreck removal around Badagry axis. This we do in partnership with NIWA, NIMASA.
We are also partnering with LASWA, in days to come, this would also materialize.
“These are the reasons why you don’t hear of any mishaps on the waterways again.” he said