By Charles Kalu
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday 14th May 2019 commissioned the Bariga Waterfront Jetty, Five Transport Ferries and the Ilaje Road, saying that the development was a testament to the fact that the State’s integrated transport management system was firmly on track.
Governor Ambode, who was speaking at the unveiling of the projects, said the development would greatly lessen pressure on road transportation, reduce travel time as well as enhance connectivity within the State.
According to him; “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 like other projects delivered by his administration, the projects were inspired 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.
Also in his words; “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”.
Explaining how the jetty and Ilaje Road came about, Governor Ambode said the projects were basically in response to the security challenges of late 2015 as investigations then revealed that the cultists terrorizing 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.
“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 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.
He said the jetty has a 150-car parking lot that would provide an avenue for people to park their cars comfortably and get on a ferry taking them to other parts of the State, adding that residents of the area can also make use of the ample space for social events.
Besides, the Governor said that of the five new ferries, four are passenger ferries that can accommodate between 40 to 60 passengers, while the fifth ferry – a Car Barge has the capacity to take between 16 and 20 cars at a time on water.
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, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Ade Akinsanya said aside the jetty, road and ferries, the State Government was also constructing 12 other roads within Ilaje and Bariga, appealing to the people to take ownership of the projects.
On his part, Baale of Ilaje, High Chief Kayode Ajetiwa, who spoke on behalf of the community, thanked Governor Ambode, saying the people of the area would forever appreciate and remember him for transforming their neighborhood and making life comfortable for them through the projects.
“The good people of Ilaje-Bariga Community and Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and Shomolu Local Government and all Lagosians will ever remember your Excellency (Governor Ambode) 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 to which no other Governor has ever done. We are grateful that you have taken us to the next level,” Ajetiwa said.