LASWA partners French agency to improve water transportation

In its efforts to engender improved water transportation system in Lagos State, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) is partnering with the French Development Agency (AFD).

The General Manager, LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, disclosed this in Lagos when the AFD team visited the LASWA headquarters at Falomo, Lagos.

Emmanuel said that AFD possesses required expertise for inland water transportation, adding that both organisations were creating the Wide-Lag Project together.

According to him, the project was to further develop and improve water transportation in Lagos.

The LASWA boss said that the partnership would encourage the upgrade and use of bigger vessels on the state’s waterways.

He disclosed that the loan to be provided by AFD to execute the project would help  to decongest the road and offer alternatives, thereby improving the quality of life of Lagos residents.

The LASWA boss averred that the project’s feasibility study would analyse about seven routes to ascertain the required number of ferries and terminals for the whole process.

“In building any public transportation system, it is important for us as Lagos to build on international best practices to follow the benchmark from other countries on how they have successfully built their water transport infrastructure.

“AFD has been supporting road transport in Lagos for the last 10 years. They helped in developing the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure, which is why the government extended their programme to cover the waterways.

” The Lagos State Government is committed to building an integrated transport system including road, rail and water transportation,” Emmanuel said.

Mr Ismail Lawal, Head of Infrastructure, International Economy Relations Department, Federal Ministry of Finance, said that the Federal Government was optimistic about fast-tracking the project to enable Lagos and its residents benefit from it.

 “The Federal Ministry of Finance’s support is to see to it that what was agreed upon at the concept stage is not derailed.

“We want to see it worked upon to become a successful project for the state and federal governments.

“There is a special commitment to the project from the Federal Government and that standing alone assures our partner that their money is safe," Lawal stated.

The Project Team Leader, AFD, Mr David Margonsetisrn, said his team came to kick-start the Wide-Lag Project to improve inland waterways transportation in Lagos.

Margonsetisrn disclosed that the AFD was planning to develop an investment project with LASWA, adding that they were at the preparatory stage.

He said that the Federal Government had mobilised significant grant to help LASWA to prepare the project, adding that the feasibility studies would be carried out by four groups of conceptuals.

Margonsetisrn said that it would take the AFD till the middle of 2023 to enable them to get the loan approval for the project’s implementation.

“The project will cover the construction of new ferry terminals, jetties, channelisation of new inland waterways transportation routes, new vessels and clean energy.

“It will also include acquisition of powered vessels as well as soft component features to enable LASWA reach critical miles to implement the project.

“Studies have been conducted throughout the lagoon, which demonstrates that new routes can be easily introduced through the lagoon.

“The infrastructure components will be about new safety and regulation, as well as control centre that will monitor the operation along the routes on daily basis.

“Any passenger falling off from the boat should be rescued immediately by the rescue team,” the project leader said.

He added that the AFD had approved 1.2 million euros grant for the preparation of the project, which is to be completed in 2027.

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