Ambode begins clean-up of lagos waterways

Ambode begins clean-up of lagos waterways


– Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday launched an Adult Education Programme tagged ‘Lagos is Learning (Èkó ńkẹ kòó)’

– Ambode has begun the process of ridding the State’s waterways of debris and hyacinth, with the view to boost water transportation and positively scale up activities relating to the waterways

Ambode inspects a project

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday launched an Adult Education Programme tagged ‘Lagos is Learning (Èkó ńkẹ kòó)’, a move he said was in line with his administration’s commitment to combat the illiteracy level in the State.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the launch of the programme, held at the Police College, Ikeja, said the target was to raise the literacy level in the State from 85 per cent to 100 per cent within the next three years.

To achieve this, the Governor said the adult education centers in the State would be increased from 522 to 1000, while additional 1000 teachers would be engaged, adding that the programme would be free of charge for participants so as to accommodate more people.

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Governor Ambode, who was represented at the launch by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, said the number of illiterate persons in the State was not consistent with his vision to make Lagos Africa’s model mega city, hence the need to address the situation.

He said, “In Lagos, research also shows that 13 per cent of the population, meaning about three million persons, are illiterates. This level of illiteracy is unacceptable. The high population of illiterate people is not consistent with our vision to become Africa’s model mega city because illiterate person lack basic literacy, numeracy and essential skills which makes them more vulnerable to activities of criminals and they can easily be lured into anti social groups.

“Basic literacy is essential for economic empowerment and to understand and follow simple instruction in the areas of health, transportation, safety and others. Today, we are launching this Eko Nke Ekoo project with the objectives of kicking illiteracy out of Lagos. Our goal is to achieve 100 percent literacy for all Lagosians. Towards this end, we plan to increase the number of basic and post literacy centers from the current 532 to 1,000. We will also engage additional 1,000 facilitators who will be trained in basic skills and techniques in the teaching of adult education.”

The literacy centres, according to the Governor, would offer courses including Education, Fashion designing, Soap making, Hair dressing and Bead making, among others.

Besides, Governor Ambode said the State Government would aggressively promote literacy initiatives through all media channels, while channels of literacy contents, radio literacy programmes, mobile literacy centres and other innovative channels would be multiplied and diversified across the State.

“To achieve this, the Ministry of Education, through the office of the Special Adviser on Education and Agency for Mass Education under the direction of the Deputy Governor, will strengthen relationship with various stakeholders including private organizations, international funding agencies, government agencies, religious organizations, community based and several NGOs running literacy and empowerment programmes”.

“I encourage residents of Lagos to take the opportunity to learn. It is never too late to learn; age is not barrier to acquire basic literacy. It will help the learners forge a better understanding between the government and the people and as well aid personal development,” he said.

Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said the initiative was to improve the standard of living of adults without formal education while growing up and make them self reliant and employaable.

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In the same vein, Ambode has begun the process of ridding the State’s waterways of debris and hyacinth, with the view to boost water transportation and positively scale up activities relating to the waterways.

Speaking at the commissioning of two Water Hyacinth and Debris Removal Machines held at Ebute Ero Jetty, the Governor said for a long time, hyacinth which is otherwise known as aquatic weed, had been a major source of concern with attendant challenges to the waterways sector.

The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, said the machines were purchased by his administration to frontally address the challenges posed by water hyacinth, adding that same was in line with the strategic implementation of Lagos master plan for the waterways.

He said, “We have bought the machines to take away debris and hyacinth from the Lagoon. The machines will encourage water transportation and this initiative is necessary now that we are working towards clean-up of the waterways.

“It will also encourage fishery so that the water economy will be improved upon,” the Governor said.

In her welcome remarks, Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority  (LASWA), Engr. Abisola Kamson, said the commissioning was a dream come true as the machines would go a long way in eradicating the menace of water hyacinth on marine ecosystems of the State particularly the Ikorodu, Ajah, Badagry, Lagos Island, Oworonshoki, Mile 2 and Epe axis.

She said aside negatively affecting the socio-economic activities of fishermen and inhabitants of the riverine communities, water hyacinth, which is a seasonal threat, had brought about damages to propulsion system of boats thus affecting water transportation.

Giving technical insight as to the workings of the machine, Kamson said it acts like an underwater lawn mower and cuts the vegetation, as well as collects and store weeds and debris, while it is fitted with a pick up conveyor at the forward end which can be lowered up to six feet deep into the water for effective cleaning of the waterways.

She said: “This symbolic gesture by the Lagos State Government is jump-starting the clean-up of our waterways and preparing ground for other revolutionary activities of LASWA’s development plan to transform the Lagos Waterways to world class standards.

“To us at LASWA and indeed the entire waterways family, we will remain ever grateful to Governor Ambode and the entire State cabinet for arming us with teeth to bite the water hyacinth menace that continuously traumatize our waterways.”

She also pledged that the machines would not be under-utilized, assuring that they would be deployed immediately for clean-up of the waterways.

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Besides, Kamson said arrangement had been concluded with the Ministry of Environment to increase monitoring activities with the view to ensuring that those who disrespect the waterways through dumping of waste, pollution, defecation and other illegal activities are made to face the full wrath of the law.

On his part, Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of Association of Tourism Boat Water Operators, Chief Wellington Ilori-Akingbulu commended Governor Ambode and his team for the initiative, saying the machines would go a long way to remove the incessant accidents and engine problems caused by water hyacinth and debris.


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