Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has described the Ilaje Road, Bariga Waterfront Jetty and Ferries inaugurated, yesterday, as a circumstantial baby necessitated by insecurity within the area.
However, he expressed delight at the project, saying the development was a testament to the fact that his administration integrated transport management system was firmly on track.
He said the commissioned waterfront jetty, five transport ferries and the Ilaje Road, would greatly lessen pressure on road transportation, reduce travel time as well as enhance connectivity within the state.
He described it as a clear example of urban regeneration inspired by creating solution to challenges.
Explaining how the jetty and Ilaje Road came about, Ambode said: “The beginning of our security challenge actually started from this particular spot. There were always series of cult rivalries in this particular community and people were actually going from house to house to kill one another.
“I tried to find out what was actually responsible and discovered that a lot of cult members were always having access to free money, by dredging the sand in the area and selling it, which in turn gave them free money which they used to harm others in the community.
“When I came in here towards the end of 2015 and I saw the area, I realised that it was a dumpsite. I then looked for a way to solve the security challenges in the community. So, I decided to stop the sand-dredging in the entire neighbourhood. And that more or less stopped the income to most of the people in the community. They could not use what they used to get from the business to oppress one another again.
“Three months after, they came begging for me to lift the ban so that they can continue the sand dredging in the community. And I felt that would result in another round of anarchy. In order to put a stop to it, I offered to link the road with the jetty.
“So, what I am saying is that what we are celebrating today is a solution to one of the security challenges that we have at that time. I am happy it has come to an end. We thank members of the community.”
The governor said the facilities will impact positively on the lives of Lagosians as his administration tries to address gridlock, reduce travel time, improve road connectivity and abate flooding.
He explained that the new Ilaje Road would serve as a good access road to the jetty as well as open up the community, while the Bariga Jetty would serve as a terminal where residents can access ferry services and easily get to other jetties at Ikorodu, Marina, Falomo and Badore in Ajah.
The 150-car park jetty, the governor said, would provide an avenue for people to park their cars comfortably and board ferries to other parts of the state, adding that residents of the area could also make use of the ample space for social events.
He said of the five new ferries, four are passenger ferries that could accommodate between 40 and 60 passengers, while the fifth, a car barge, has the capacity to take between 16 and 20 cars at a time.