The newly built jetty at Gbaji Yeke, Badadry West Local Government Area of Lagos State has been formally inaugurated for operation by the President of the Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), Gani Tarzan Balogun. Speaking at the event, Balogun commended the Lagos State chapter of the association and Engineer Joseph Phillip, for the initiative, adding that the facility was constructed in line with extant safety regulations of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
He assured that more of such facilities under his watch as president would be provided by members of the association in order to open up the waterway for transportation. By so doing, he said the rural communities would enjoy development and economic growth.
“As much as we appreciate the support given to us to manage some jetties in Lagos by NIWA and Lagos State government, we are not relenting in our support to provide more jetties to most unreached communities in the state as veritable partners to national and states water transportation development agenda,” he said.
He further stated that: ‘‘Even though it’s an expensive venture, ATBOWATON believes that it is part of our mandate to help unlock and link the treasures in most remote communities in Lagos and help drive rural development and create jobs.”
Balogun also praised the dedication and sacrifice of the Badagry chapter chairman of the association, Mr. Tope Fajemirokun, for making Badagry the new bride of water transportation in Lagos State, adding that Gbaji Yeke Jetty will help to solve the demand for additional jetty facilities in Badagry West Local Government, Ogun State and Porto Novo in Benin Republic. NIWA Lagos Area Manager, Engineer Sarat Lara Braimah, who was represented by Engineer Shehu Shuaibu, commended the association and the Gbaji Yeke Jetty facilitator, Phillip, for the construction of the jetty.
He, however, cautioned that it must not be used for illegal activities such as smuggling or aiding of anti – developmental activities. He further stated that NIWA Lagos will mount surveillance on the use of the jetty and others even as advised boat operators to adhere strictly to the use of the orange coloured life jacket sanctioned by International Maritime Organisation (IMO), noting that NIWA Lagos will begin massive enforcement from next month.
Phillip in his remark said the jetty was primarily to help open up the community which is at the heart and centre of Badagry West Local Government for development, adding that his boat operation known as ‘Only God,’ needs a jetty hub in the area to effectively provide water transportation services to its growing clients and for other boat operators under ATBOWATON. One of the highlights of the event was the presentation of ATBOWATON’s operational license and bill board to Phillip and his ‘Only God’ boat services to operate and exclusively supervise the Gbaji Yeke jetty.