Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has inaugurated the Bariga Waterfront Jetty, five new ferries and the Ilaje road, saying that the development would complement the state’s integrated transport management system and infrastructure.
Ambode said at the unveiling of the projects that the ferries would greatly lessen pressure on road transportation, reduce travel time as well as enhance connectivity within the state.
“With these projects, our state is firmly on track with our goal of establishing an integrated transport management system. These facilities will continue to impact positively on the lives of Lagos dwellers as we strive to address traffic gridlock, reduce travel time, improve road connectivity and abate flooding,” the governor said.
He said, like other projects completed by his administration, the jetty would open up the Bariga community for more commercial activities and make residents feel the impact of government, recalling that his administration, since inception, set out on a mission to make every community economically viable and liveable.
“The thinking behind these projects is inclusion; inclusion where every resident of our state has a say, feels the impact of government in their lives and is given the opportunity to realise their dreams.
“When we assumed office four years ago, we set out on a mission to make every community economically livable. This has been the guiding principle behind spreading our different projects across the state,” he said.
Explaining how the jetty and Ilaje road came about, Ambode said the projects were basically in response to the security challenges of late 2015, as investigations then revealed that the cultists terrorising the people and threatening the peace of the state were getting funds from sand dredging activities in the area, adding that the projects were a clear example of urban renewal inspired by creating solutions to challenges.
According to the governor, the initial plan was to upgrade the roads in the community but a proper assessment of the community revealed a greater need to improve the lives of the people and make Bariga a transport hub that would connect the community to other parts of the state through water transportation.
“The delivery of this road, the jetty and our new ferries signify our commitment to the people of Lagos State to continuously provide the critical infrastructure that will improve their standard of living and also be an impetus to increase the socio-economic activities of this axis.
“The provision of comfortable, safe and reliable ferry services for the residents of Bariga and environs will no doubt bring about an improvement in journey times that would lead to greater productivity,” he said.
The governor explained that the new Ilaje road would serve as a very good access road to the jetty as well as open up the community, while the Bariga Jetty would serve as a terminal where residents access ferry services and easily get to other jetties at Ikorodu, Marina, Falomo and Badore in Ajah, among others.
He said the jetty has a 150-car parking lot that would provide a platform for people to park their cars comfortably and get on a ferry taking them to other parts of the state, and residents of the area can also make use of the ample space for social events.
Besides, the governor stated that, of the five new ferries, four were passenger ferries that could accommodate between 40 and 60 passengers, while the fifth, a car barge, had capacity for between 16 and 20 vehicles.
He said the projects were also in line with his administration’s policy to develop an efficient integrated transport model to decongest roads in the state by getting more people to utilise water transportation as a viable alternative.
Earlier, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Ade Akinsanya, said apart from the jetty, road and ferries, the state government was also constructing 12 other roads within Ilaje and Bariga, just as he urged the people to take ownership of the projects.
On his part, Baale of Ilaje, Chief Kayode Ajetiwa, who spoke on behalf of the community, thanked Ambode, saying the people of the area would forever appreciate and remember him for transforming their neighbourhood and making life comfortable for them through the projects.
“The people of Ilaje-Bariga community, Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA) as well as Shomolu Local Government and all those living in Lagos will forever remember you for the construction of this ultra-modern jetty at Ilaje-Bariga community for the sole purpose of easing water transportation in Lagos.
“We salute your courage for providing the funds for this project within four years of your administration, which no other governor has ever done. We are grateful that you have taken us to the next level,” Ajetiwa said.