Gani Tarzan Balogun, president, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), has commissioned a new jetty at Gbaji Yeke, Badagry West local government of Lagos State for ease and safety of boat operators and water users in the area.
Speaking at the commissioning project, Balogun commended Joseph Phillip, Gbaji Yeke jetty facilitator, for putting up the facility constructed in line with extant safety regulations of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
Balogun assured that under his watch as president of boat operators, more of such facilities will be provided by members across the state to help rural littoral communities to commute to and from other communities, and the city centres.
This, he said, will drive development, speedy growth of the rural areas and creation of jobs.
“We appreciate the support given to us to manage some jetties in Lagos by NIWA and Lagos State Government. We are not unrelenting in our drive to provide more jetties to most unreached communities in the state as veritable partners to national and states water transportation development agenda. Even though, it’s an expensive venture, ATBOWATON believes that it is part of its mandate to help unlock and link the treasures in most remote communities in Lagos to drive rural development and create jobs,” he added.
Balogun also said that Gbaji Yeke jetty will help to solve the demand for additional jetties in and around water transportation ecology between Badagry West local government, Ogun state and Porto Novo.
Shehu Shuaibu, representative of Sarat Lara Braimah, NIWA Lagos Area Manager, commended ATBOWATON and the Gbaji Yeke jetty facilitator, Joseph Phillip for the construction of the important jetty, but warned that it must not be used for illegal activities such as smuggling or to aid anti-developmental activities.
Shuaibu assured that NIWA Lagos Office will mount surveillance on the use of the jetty and warned boat operators to strictly adhere to the use of the orange-coloured life jacket sanctioned by International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as NIWA will began massive enforcement from the month of May.
Earlier, Joseph Phillip said that the Gbaji Yeke jetty initiative was primarily built to help open up the community which is at the heart and center of Badagry West LGA for development and to create jobs for both the youth and old.
It was said that Phillip and his ‘Only God’ boat services will operate and exclusively supervise the Gbaji Yeke jetty to effectively provide water transportation services to its growing clients.