DAILYIMESNG — As Lagos residents prepare for the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge on Sunday, the state government has disclosed that over 1.3 million commuters are ferried within the state monthly.
The Managing Director of the State Water Authority (LASWA), Adeyinka Marinho, on Saturday said that the number rose from 300,000, which was recorded last year.
Marinho said the big difference showed that residents’ confidence in water transportation had grown considerably.
“I want to emphasise that people have known the importance of waterways,” he said.
“It is good to travel by water, especially now when rehabilitation works are expected to commence on the Third Mainland Bridge, which has been the major link for people moving from the island to the mainland.”
He, however, stressed the value of maintaining order on the waterways, assuring that water guards would be at the jetties to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.
“The fear of drowning is what discourages many people from travelling by water. In actual fact, the lagoon is quite large but safety is the watchword,” he continued.
“As long as you have the life-jacket on, even if you do not know how to swim, you can never drown.”
In anticipation of the partial bridge closure and the expected resulting increase in road traffic, Marinho said newly constructed Oworonshoki and Ipakodo jetties would be put to use during the period.
Also, according to him, 59 registered ferry operators would be operating at varying capacities to cope with the expected large turnout of commuters over the four-month period that the bridge would be partially closed for repairs.
Adeleke Emoruwa, the Chairman of the Association of Waterway Transporters, disclosed that transporters would operate between 6:30 am and 7.30 pm on weekdays during the period.
He urged commuters to be safety conscious and expressed his association’s commitment towards ensuring same.