Boat Operators’ Boss Tarzan Tasks Lagos on Infrastructure
By Justina Uzo Okpanku
The President of Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), Mr. Gani Balogun, said what Lagos State Government was doing was good, so far and that the Apapa gridlock was not beyond solution.
Asked ‘What do you think about the Lagos traffic situation in general?’ He said the question was, “How can boat operators in Lagos reduce the pressure on road?’
Balogun who is also known as Tarzan said all hope was not lost if the Lagos State Government provide basic infrastructure for water transport businesses to thrive.
He said an investment in the waterways would mean people could move from one end of Lagos to another and cut off heavy traffic. It will not only boost revenue to government, it will also bring commuters closer to their destinations, reducing travel time.
He said: “A boat can bring passengers from Lagos Island to Isolo within 40 minutes whereas it can take you three hours to go there by road.”
Speaking at Tarzan Beachhouse at the serene Ibeshe Resort, Lagos, Balogun told a women’s group who visited the resort that cruising was gaining popularity because it is “faster and safer as we are operating in full compliance of the COVID-19 guidelines.”
According to him, “Lagos was surrounded by water, you can go nearly everywhere in Lagos by waterways. Boat can get to many areas. Boat can go to Ikorodu, Agege, Epe, Badagry everywhere. But you need to do dredging to make the water accessible.” The problem boat operators are having, he said, was lack of enabling environment especially dearth of fuel station on the waterways.
” Lagos State government had built two fuel stations, one at Ikorodu and the other in Falomo. But the fuel stations are not enough. More fuel stations need to be built in some strategic locations especially where lots of boats take off from, ”he said. Adding:” We need to be lifted by government.”
He also wants Lagos State government to honour former governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, who died recently for his selfless service during his time as governor.