Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has donated 100 bags of rice and 300 bags of garri to the Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON).
Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.
Emmanuel noted that the official distribution of the palliatives to the organised registered body of boat operators in Lagos was carried out on Thursday at the Victoria Island Head Office the association.
According to him, the gesture is part of the state government’s palliative programmes to cushion the effect of the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“The food items presented to the association through the office of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) was to help members of the association and their families to cushion the effects of the lockdown.
“The association, with over 1,000 members scattered around the six zones of Lagos State, was affected by the lockdown directives.
“Their services were withdrawn on waterways to prevent the spread of the infectious disease, hence the need for these palliatives,” the LASWA boss said.
Emmanuel said that Sanwo-Olu believed that the association deserved the care and love of the state in a time like this, considering the huge sacrifices they had made and expected to make.
“The governor, the transportation commissioner and all of us at LASWA appreciate ATBOWATON members.
“Notably, this intervention is the message of the future. Our intention is to sustain the relationship and all, to the glory of God,” the LASWA boss added.
The general manager quoted Mr Gani Tarzan-Balogun, National President of ATBOWATON, as expressing the deep appreciation of the members of the association to Sanwo-Olu.
According to him, Tarzan-Balogun also donated cartons of sanitisers to members of his association to support the governor’s gesture.
“The governor has worked really hard to convince boat operators in the state that their welfare and services are important and appreciated since he came on board.
”We at ATBOWATON believe the governor meant well and his commitment to us and visible interventions through the state transportation ministry and regulatory agency, LASWA, are part of the ongoing efforts to help ATBOWATON remain strong and relevant.
“To send us these palliatives, further reinforced the love to our families affected by the lock down.
“ATBOWATON will endeavour at all times to work closely with the government to grow and improve the business of water transportation in Lagos and the country,” Emmanuel quoted Tarzan-Balogun as saying.
According to the general manager, Tarzan-Balogun requested for small repayable loans for members in order to purchase water taxies to meet with best global standard and to also drive water-based recreation and visits to beaches and resorts after lockdown.