The Role of the Authority
The Lagos State Government (LASG) in 2008 enacted the Lagos State Waterways Authority Act, which established the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA). LASWA is charged with the responsibility for coordinating and managing the reforms necessary for the long term growth and development of water transportation in Lagos State, including the granting of ferry licences, dredging and concessions for the operation of terminals to the private sector. These reforms entail the creation of an enabling long-term regulatory environment that attracts significant private sector involvement in the provision of water transport services.
Through LASWA, the LASG has embarked on a programme of policy reforms and investments to promote and facilitate the provision of water transport aimed at realising its potential to become an attractive mode of transport. This programme entails:
- Creation of an enabling long-term regulatory environment that provides a conducive environment for significant Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the provision of water based transport services;
- Implementation of the Lagos Ferry Project (LFP) a strategy designed to facilitate the provision of efficient and effective ferry services in Lagos State with active private sector participation.
- Water transportation is an integral component of the development of Lagos state’s inter-modal transport system. The physical environment of Lagos is well-suited to accommodate water transport as about 17% of Lagos is composed of lagoons and waterways. The main water bodies in Lagos State are the Lagos Lagoon, Ologe Lagoon, Porto-Novo Creek, Badagry Creeks and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Water transport is one of the most advantageous transport modes, having the least impact on the environment, the lowest cost for city transport, enormous capacity reserves and the least energy consumption. The environmental, health, safety and security (EHSS) advantages of adopting water transportation facilities in Lagos are many. Moreover, the population of the Lagos Metropolitan Area continues to rise. People of all walks of life migrate to Lagos and are in need of cost-effective modes of urban transport.
- Ferry operations have proven worldwide to be an effective and efficient tool in relieving road transport for both passengers and vehicle traffic as seen below. Water transport is well known as a very environmental friendly or “green” mode of transport and as such, water transport can offer a further solution for the ever growing transport demands in Lagos.