By Oluwatope Lawanson
Lagos – Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Monday said his administration would soon roll out massive water transport services in order to reduce over-dependence on road transportation.
Sanwo-Olu said this in his speech at the Public and Private Innovation For Sustainable Cities organised by the Embassy of France at Alliance Francaise, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Sanwo-Olu said that the future of Lagos lies primarily in viable alternatives to over dependence on road transportation.
“Lagos have a sizable mass of water, we are ramping up with the roll out of public water transport services.
“We are also focusing on the medium and long term water and rail transport service in order to ease the stress of transportation in the state,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that his administration intends to launch the first of several planned intra-city lines by the end of 2020.
“We would be moving Lagosians into efficient mass transport services.
“We would be reducing the time and productivity lost to traffic logjams and reducing the city’s carbon footprint,” the governor said.
He said that daily migration to Lagos brought huge challenges of increased waste management the state was tackling through various initiatives and appealed to residents to embrace the Blue Box Initiative to sort waste.
“In line with our determination and commitment to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment, we have re-energized the solid waste management sector by promoting concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle as the major thrusts of waste management in the state.
“We urge everyone to embrace and spread the gospel of the blue box program as well as the community clean up campaign that was recently launched as innovative way of strategically managing solid waste in the state.
“The Blue Box initiative is essential to the full realization of the benefit derivable from a technology driven recycling process.
“We are investing in an upgrade of our waste processing infrastructure, state-wide: Loading Stations, Recycling Centers, Treatments Plants, Waste-to-Energy plants,” he said.
He said that his government was stepping up efforts to collaborate with its northern neighbour in order to serve the needs of increasing com mingled population.
“As Lagos grows, it will inevitably continue to spill northwards.
“Therefore, we are collaborating with Ogun State Government since we are bound together in order to serve the needs of the increasing population,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Mr Jerome Pasquire, The France Ambassador to Nigeria, in his welcome address, said that Africa-France Summit will be coming up in Bordeaux, France between June 4 and June 6, 2020.
“The summit would bring together leaders from all over Africa, policy makers, private businesses to debate collectively, concrete actions to proffer solutions to challenges of urbanization, demographic growth and climate change,” Pasquire said.
Mrs Fausat Ibikunle, Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development Planning, Kaduna State, called for good water, electricity, development of physical and social structures in rural areas.
She said that this would attract investors to not only the urban areas but also the rural areas of the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that panelists at the event stressed the need for government to tackle issues of insecurity, provide basic facilities and infrastructure for people living in the rural areas thereby reducing rural – urban migration.
They also emphasized on the need for good drainage system and good road network towards and other environmental issues. (NAN)