By Aisha Cole
Lagos – The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has opened four new jetty routes to ease traffic during the six-month partial closure of the third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
The Lagos Area Manager of NIWA, Mrs Sarat Braimah, who made the disclosure in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday, urged residents to make use of waterways.
Braimah said that the authority had observed the congestion that would resulted from the closure of third Mainland Bridge which made them to establish additional jetty routes and jetties.
According to her, we have put a jetty at Oyingbo, so that people coming from Ikeja, can avoid using Third Mainland Bridge, while parking their cars under the bridge, take the boat and come to the Island.
“We have opened another jetty at Oyingbo. We also have in Lekki Phase 1, Tin Can Area in Mile 2 and we are trying to open another jetty route in Oworoshoki.
“Safety is our major watchword; before you board the boat, we make sure that you wear the correct life jackets.
“We have our security men on ground and we have also studied the mishaps and we have discovered that part of the cause is wrecks.
“The Managing Director of NIWA, Dr George Moghalu, have released money for the clearance of wrecks all over Inland waterways.
“Our waterways have been charted, so we know all the depths. We are trying to put the navigation aids to help easy movement on the water,” Braimah said.
She expeessed concern over reckless operations of the boat captains, which had caused boat mishaps many times.
The NIWA Lagos Area Manager, said the authority had appealed to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to train the ferry captain to enable them to be certified and qualified.
She said that the training would enable the authority to be satisfied in dealing with correct, trained and certified captains.
Braimah said that NIWA usually supported the jetties- operators with life jackets, saying that they had made provisions for affordable renting of life jackets through partnership with a company.
She, however, urged ferry passengers to ensure they put on life jackets before boarding to safe lives. (NAN)