Outgoing governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode says the state’s integrated transportation system which seeks to leverage roads, waterways and rail, is on course, as he officially commissioned the Bariga waterfront jetty, five ferries and newly constructed road at Ilaje on Tuesday.
According to Ambode, the new jetty and ferries would go a long way in lessening pressure on road transportation, reduce travel time as well as enhance connectivity within the state.
The jetty has a 150-car parking lot that would provide an avenue for people to park their cars and get on a ferry taking them to other parts of the state.
Four of the ferries are passenger ferries with the capacity for between 40 and 60 passengers, while the fifth ferry – a car barge has the capacity to take between 16 and 20 cars at a time on water.
“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 Lagosians as we strive to address traffic gridlock, reduce travel time, improve road connectivity and abate flooding,” he said.
According to the governor, like other projects delivered by his administration, these new projects are intended to 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 livable.
“The thinking behind these projects is inclusion; an 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 in response to the security challenges of late 2015 as investigations then revealed that the cultists terrorising the people and threatening peace of the state were getting funds from sand dredging activities in the area, adding that the projects were a clear example of urban regeneration inspired by creating solution to challenges.
The governor said that the initial plan was to upgrade the roads in the community but that 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 signifies 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.”
He explained that the new Ilaje road would serve as a very good access road to the jetty as well as opening up the community, while the Bariga jetty would serve as a terminal where residents in the area can access ferry services and easily get to other jetties at Ikorodu, Marina, Falomo and Badore in Ajah, among others.
Ade Akinsanya, the commissioner for works and infrastructure, said aside 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, Kayode Ajetiwa, who spoke on behalf of the community, thanked Ambode, saying the people of the area would forever appreciate the transformation of their neighbourhood.
“We salute your courage for providing the funds for this project within four years of your administration,” he said.