Former governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola, has advised Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu to prioritise the execution of projects, saying there will always be competition for funding and project implementations.
Fashola spoke, yesterday, during the fourth Lagos Traffic Radio Lecture Series, with the theme: “Lagos Beyond Roads: The Intermodal Option.”
The former minister of Power, Works and Housing, who also proffered solutions to the transportation situation in Lagos, urged the governor to ensure completion of the blue rail project, which he described as the first city-owned project in the world without the Federal Government intervention.
“The completion of the blue line (rail) project is the first city-owned project in the world without the Federal Government’s intervention. The state government should prioritise the completion of this project as it would go a long way in easing the burden of the traffic in the roads,” he said.
He appealed to the federal government to assist all states involved in rail projects to ensure a fruitful completion,
Fashola also asked Sanwo-Olu to operationalise all ferry terminals in the state and expand the Bus Rapid Transit to extend to other divisions across the state.
He also recommended the resurfacing of road networks, especially as regards roads he termed central spine, such as the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the Third Mainland Bridge, Apapa-Oshodi, Agege Motor Road and Ikorodu Road.
The former governor said if these roads were in good conditions, it would have an overall effect on the traffic situation across the state.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, promised that his administration will give priority to water transportation sector.
“Within the last few weeks, we have had promising discussions with vairous groups of investors who have expressed their intentions to invest in the transport sector, especially the water transport sub-sector.
‘‘In terms of harnessing its economic potential, the water transport sector is under-utilised’’
‘‘The current traffic situation indicates that 95 percent of transportation is done by road in our state of over 22 million people with about 25 percent of the land mass consisting of waterways.
‘‘The essence, therefore is to reduce the number of cars on the road and provide alternative options which are rail and waterways transportation which will be efficient and safe for Lagosians and those that choose to visit our state,‘’ he said.
Meanwhile, Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora has said 90 percent of mishaps on waterways were due to non-compliance of inland waterways transportation codes by operators.
Mamora also identified overloading and night navigation among the major causes of accidents.
The former speaker of the state House of Assembly, who lamented the rise in the waterways mishaps, cautioned operators and other stakeholders against violation of existing rules.