Nigeria News

Nigeria News

Lagos Inter-Modal Transport And Problem of Water Hyacinth

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Nigeria News takes a look at the water hyacinth as one of the major impediments to water transportation in Lagos.

Lagos has remained the only megacity without the intermodal transportation system. Since the beginning of this year, it has been hell of a traffic on the Third Mainland Bridge for motorists travelling from the mainland to the Lagos Island.

The heavy traffic usually begins from the Iyana Oworo end and terminates at Ilubirin end, just after Adeniji Adele. Commuters spend two hours in the traffic. In other words, many who work on the Island get late to work almost everyday.

The Lagos State Government is building a jetty at Ilaje, Bariga end of the bridge as part of its plans to establish a quality intermodal transport system. The past administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola built some jetties in Ikorodu, Badore, Okokomaiko areas of the state with the hope to run water transportation system but up till now much has not been done to really harness this opportunity.

The former Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Professor Bamidele Badejo came up with a blueprint on how to run intermodal transportation system, using, Land, Water and Rail.

His successor, Kayode Opeifa inherited the plan but could not successfully implement it. The Blue and Red Rail line that started during Fashola’s tenure is yet to take off.

Lagosians groan in road traffic. Local and foreign investors are not ready to put their monies in the water transportation system because the government has failed to provide the necessary infrastructure.

There are a few Lagosians who use the ferry from parts of Ikorodu, Epe to get to Island but they do so at their own risk. Water Hyacinth has remained a thorn in the flesh of riverine residents of Epe Town, Lagos State for a very longtime now.

Both the Federal and Lagos State Governments have loads of solution to stop the menace of these plants, which continue to constitute a hindrance to commercial activities among the grassroots scattered between Lagos and Ogun states.

A visit to Oluwo Market showed how boats filled with market men and women moved from Epe, Lagos State to Take and Saga in Ogun State. Virtually all of them were lamenting the negative impacts of the weeds on water transportation.

The woes of fishermen are even worse. The Lagos State Government should move in to assist these people. Very soon, the water hyacinth will spread to the Lagoon, making it more difficult for boats swimming from Island to Ikorodu and vice versa.

If Lagos must run a quality intermodal transport system to ease the pressure on its roads, the government in collaboration with the Federal Government must tackle the problems of water hyacinth.

The jetty at the Ilaje, Bariga has been abandoned for sometime now, perhaps because Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is not returning. One will expect the incoming Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to complete this project.

Lagos is in dire need of an effective transport system. I observe that many of the vehicles that ply the Third Mainland Bridge are private cars. These cars are empty most times with just the driver or one other person in it. If the water transport system is effective, many motorists will prefer it to terrible traffic on the road.

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