this Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu inaugurated the newly installed Waterway Monitoring and Data Management Center at the Five Cowrie Terminal in Ikoyi Falomo.
In a statement to Governor Gboyega Akosile, the chief press secretary, the center will serve as a centralized monitoring base for the activities of the Lagos Waterways Authority.
The governor said the data center will help monitor waterborne transportation activity and generate real-time information to enhance safety and improve transportation on inland waterways.
Sanwo-Olu also showcased various surveillance equipment such as the advanced DJI drone for surface surveillance and the BlueEye Pro drone for underwater search and rescue operations.
He also established the LASWA Search and Rescue Team, which patrols and enforces the state’s waterways rules and regulations.
In his speech, the Governor said: “Over the past three and a half years, our government has invested heavily in waterway infrastructure and assets to intentionally encourage and facilitate waterway transport in Lagos. Our gathering today is to further deepen our understanding of Commitment to safe and secure ferry operations on our waterways.We are commissioning a large command and control center purpose built to monitor and protect our waterways.
“We are in the process of unveiling a new search and rescue team that will patrol and enforce the rules and regulations of our shipping lanes. We are handing over two additional patrol boats and enhanced security. BlueEye Pro drone and U-SAFE rescue gadget for underwater search.
“These gadgets were purchased and installed to underpin our efforts to make our waterways safer for users and to make monitoring activities seamless. It also demonstrates our unparalleled commitment to providing viable alternative transportation solutions to complement other modes In addition to building additional terminals, this is an investment that we will continue to make. In the next few weeks, we will commission 8 new terminals to the 15 terminals currently under construction.”
Commenting on the state’s progress, Sanwo-Olu said, “We have invested heavily in LASWA and today we are starting to see results. Over the past three years, daily commuter ridership has increased to 43,000, which is more than 1.4 million per year. Boat accidents have also been significantly reduced through our massive intervention in safety equipment and the donation of free lifejackets in 15 water-accessible local government areas.”
Meanwhile, Prince Yomi Sopitan, Executive Assistant to the Governor for Maritime Affairs, said the innovation has improved surveillance capabilities and solved security concerns in the state.
Sopitan said: “Prior to the installation of advanced technological equipment, private boat operators in Lagos used to record an average of 19 water accidents per year. The state recorded only two major water accidents this year, a testament to the progress we have made over the past two years. ”