By Chiazo Ogbolu
Boat operators under the aegis of Waterfront Boat Owners and Transporters Association (WABOTAN) has backed President Bola Tinubu on subsidy removal just as they called for palliatives to cushion the effect.
The President of WABOTAN, Mr Babatope Fajemirokun, said this in a chat with journalists on Tuesday in Lagos.
Fajemirokun described the fuel subsidy removal as a bitter pill needed for the country’s healing.
“We see this government as a listening government and we want them to bring up whatever palliative that is necessary to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
“Some Nigerians have been clamouring for the removal of this subsidy for a long time, some people even described it as a fraud. But for us, it is a welcomed idea and we will get used to it.
“For us as boat operators, we don’t think this is something that will choke everybody,” he said.
Fajemirokun also described President Tinubu as the only Nigerian President that understands the importance of the maritime sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the the economy.
“We are going to make our own presentation to his office. He knows what it takes to run the maritime economy and its importance to our GDP,” he said.
Fajemirokun also urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, to consider handing over the newly inaugurated jetties across the state to WABOTAN for proper management and optimal performance.
Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer of WABOTAN, Chief Raymond Gold, said the association was by way of concession, seeking administration and control of the newly inaugurated jetties by the Lagos State Government.
“We identify with the Lagos State Government in building these jetties, they promote waterways safety.
“WABOTAN is a major stakeholder and we feel we have a major role to play in managing these jetties.
“What we are seeking is concessioning and any other partnership that they deemed fit to enter with us in order to ensure that the jetties are put into profitable use,” he said.
According to him, WABOTAN is highly experienced and capable to run these jetties including other federal jetties across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Sanwo-Olu recently inaugurated four newly constructed jetties which includes the Ijegun-Egba Jetty, Ilashe Jetty in Amuwo-Odofin, Isalu-Ajido Jetty, Marina Badagry Jetty. (NAN)