•We want mutually beneficial relationship between NIWA, Lagos, says Senate Committee
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, urged both the federal and state governments to be on the same page on waterways, saying the Lagos State Government will continue to improve and enhance its working relationship with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
He said the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development was set up by the Lagos State Government to put in place the right and needed infrastructure around waterways in the State, and therefore urged NIWA to be on the same page with the State Government.
Governor Sanwo-Olu spoke during the working visit and courtesy visit of the Senate Committee on Marine Transportation and Blue Economy led by its Chairman, Senator Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, at Lagos House, Ikeja, on Thursday. 
“We see ourselves as partners with NIWA on waterways. We are committed, and we believe that they are equally committed. The only area in which we need to strengthen our relationship is the sand filling and approval on sand filling. Let us be on the same page. We can continue to improve and enhance the working relationship between us and NIWA,” the Governor said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, while highlighting landmark achievements by the Lagos State Government on the blue economy and water transportation, said his administration would soon introduce electric boats to water transportation, among other interventions in its bid to enhance marine ecosystems and reduce travel time.
He said, “About a month ago, we launched additional brand new 15 ferry boats with the capacity of about 40 passengers each for water transportation. The boats were fabricated and completed here in Lagos. We have launched and handed them over to the operators to ease water transportation.
“We just did ground-breaking work for two iconic projects that would be by the waterfronts; Lagos-Marina Inter-Change. It is an interchange that would harbour water transportation, rail transportation, and bus rapid transportation. We are doing another one at Mile 2, which will also be for water, rail, and bus interchange stations.
“These are landmark projects that will not only change the face of water, marine transportation in Lagos but will also enhance social economic activities, the movement of people from one part of the city to another, and reduce travel time by 60 to 70 percent. NIWA is aware of all the projects because we have been collaborating with them.
“We are working on the Omi-Eko Water Project. The Omi-Eko Water Project is a well-thought-out project that will run for the next four to five years. It is going to enhance water transportation. We are going to build additional water jetties. We are going to be buying electric boats—100/120 passenger boats. We are going to improve security on the waterways. We are going to enhance a Command and Control Centre on the waterways.”
Speaking earlier, Senator Eshinlokun-Sanni called for collaboration between the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government to drive social economy and commercial activities on waterways.
He said his committee is in Lagos for a working visit, and the Senators deemed it fit to pay a courtesy visit to Governor Sanwo-Olu before carrying out their oversight functions.
Eshinlokun-Sanni said NIWA, which is under its committee, is very critical to Lagos State, noting that the Senate Committee on Marine Transportation and Blue Economy wants a mutually beneficial relationship between the Federal Government and Lagos State.
“We are here to look at how NIWA is doing and to see the area of cooperation with the Lagos State Government because of the recent judgement of the Supreme Court. We want to see how NIWA will enjoy a good relationship with the Lagos State Government without acrimony because we are the same government as the APC, and most importantly, the father of the nation is from Lagos State. We are not here to witch-hunt; we are here to work with you and the people of Lagos State and Nigeria,” he said.

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