Amid protests over the state government’s ban on okada and tricycles popularly called Keke Marwa in some parts of the state, the Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday vowed that his government would not reverse its decision for safety reasons.
The governor said this while speaking at the formal launch of LAGFERRY operations, mobile app and inauguration of 14 commercial boats at Badore Ferry Terminal, Ajah.
Sanwo-Olu, while justifying the ban, said as a responsible government, his administration would not fold its arms and allow security breach in the state.
“Let me tell you about the ban which we just enforced. We will sustain the ban on okadas and tricycles mainly because of security and safety reasons. Security of citizens is paramount to any government. As a responsible government, we will not fold our arms and allow any security breach in the state.
“We will continue to ensure the safety of our people on all fronts. There have been reports of serious security breaches and safety concerns in areas where these operators ply. We had to respond to these concerns because life and safety matter to this government,” he said.
The governor assured that the number of ferry boats would be increased to 30 before the end of the year, disclosing that more than 500 buses would be injected into the state bus transport system to ease transportation problems.
The boats have the capacity to ferry 40 to 60 passengers at a go and will commute passengers from Ikorodu, Ebute Ero, CMS, Badore, and Ikoyi amongst other routes.
Sanwo-Olu said the launch was in fulfilment of his administration’s promise to provide an effective and integrated intermodal transportation system.
The governor pointed out that water transportation was one of the intermodal transportation tripods the state government was committed to developing as a strategy to reduce congestion on its roads which accounts for over 90 per cent of commuting in the state.
He said for Lagos to be a functional smart city desired by all, there must be diversification of the mode of transportation, adding: “There must be interconnectivity of the rail, road and water transportation systems.”
Sanwo-Olu assured that adequate measures had been put in place to ensure safety on the waterways through the empowerment of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) to effectively discharge its monitoring and regulatory duties.
Speaking further, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the boats were constructed here by “our local builders and they come with state of the art technology you can find anywhere else in the world.