Editorial Team

Emmanuel Udom-Managing Editor, Stephen Dijo Philemon-Deputy Editor, Janet Udom-Senior Correspondent, Precious Udom-Senior Correspondent, Williams Ita-Bureau Chief(Akwa Ibom/Cross River), Fabian Idoko-Senior Correspondent

    Manufacturer's Representative Import Export General Merchandise Contract Adress: Araromi Quarters, Owode Area, Ifo, Ogun state, Nigeria P.O.Box 2632, Oshiodi, Lagos Telephone: 2348166719412

    Sunday, 2 October 2016

    The boom, doom of canoe transport business on Totowu waterways

                                                                                                                                      Photo: google 
    Totowu is a popular village in Igbesa area of Ogun state, south-west Nigeria. But, for some people, crossing over from Lagos through Igando axis on canoe to the village, is like going on a journey of no return.
    Last week, our correspondent embarked on the journey to discover Totowu village through Iyana-Ipaja axis.
    With a N50 ticket, the fully loaded blue BRT bus, plying Iyana Ipaja-Igando axis began the journey through Egbeda and Idimu and finally ended at Igando.
    Opposite Igando police station, commercial buses painted with yellow color were calling Odo and passengers boarded the buses after paying N50 each.
    Movement through Isuti Road to the waterside on this particular Sunday was quite hectic as okada riders literarily went on rampage over what one of them described as repeated extortions from their union officials and agberos.
    But, police patrol vehicle was spotted around the area.
    At the Egan, Igando end of Odo waterside, petty traders selling food, provisions, local herbal drinks, popularly known as ogogoro, cigarettes and other items occupied both sides of the riverine area.
    Ten canoe conveying passengers across the river were spotted and as one of the owners of the canoe, who was provoked by a lady, who handed him N1000 for a N100 transport fare boasted, “I make N10, 000 on the average daily running my business”
    Our check revealed that about seventeen passengers board each canoe for a journey across to the Totowu side of Ogun state from Egan in Lagos. Each of the passengers pays N100, which translate to N1, 700 per journey.
    With the boasting by one of the boat operator, it is likely that between 5 am to 12 midnight, each of the operators could journey to and fro both sides of the river about eight times to earn between N9, 000- N10, 000 on the average.
    Yet no life jacket is provided to any of the passengers. Though, check further revealed that the waterways around these riverine areas was recently opened, having been earlier closed due to the unpatriotic activities of suspected militants, who allegedly killed a police officer and wrecked havoc on Totowu village.
    Some first time boarders of the canoe were seen silently praying during the 15 minutes journey from Lagos to the Ogun end of the river.
    But, with one canoe built at the rate of N500, 000, depending on the size, calculations show that it will take an operator, who is making N8000 daily on the average 63 days to get back his returns on investment, all things been equal.
    But, all things may not be equal as they have to pay dues daily to the boat union officials and other stakeholders. So, it may take a much longer time to re-coup returns on investments.


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