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Ferry fleet launched
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Ferry fleet launched

Improving transport on inland waterways

NIGERIA: A fleet of 15 boats was launched at the end of last month to provide high commercial operations by Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA).

The 15 boats have the capacity to carry 40 passengers each as against the 20 passenger limit in the existing vessels. The ferries were manufactured by Caverton Marine in a factory jointly run by Lagos State Government and the private firm. Caverton Marine is a subsidiary of Caverton Offshore Support Group.

A further 25 high capacity ferries are planned for the second phase of construction at the boatyard. This is anticipated to reduce turnaround time on the waterways as well as expand the ferry services to additional routes.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, joined by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and members of the State Executive Council, took inaugural ride on the boats, sailing from Badore to Ikoyi. The journey took an average of 27 minutes.

Creating viable waterways transportation, Sanwo-Olu said, aligned with his Government’s strategic vision to engender pollution-free mobility means that would improve life quality and productivity.

The Governor assured Lagosians that the ferries were equipped with revolutionary technology to ensure commuters’ safety, comfort, and convenience, adding that the safety measures would be complemented by the modern technology installed in LASWA Command and Control Centre. 

The State’s waterways regulator, Sanwo-Olu added, had recently acquired two additional patrol boats, and set up a Search and Rescue Unit, and a floating clinic for quick response to emergencies.

Commissioner for Transportation, Oluwaseun Osiyemi, said the OmiBus ferry project was initiated to transform commuting in the metropolis, with a special focus on rapid transiting and convenience.

“These modern ferries, with their advanced amenities and safety features, will not only ensure comfortability of passengers in secure journeys, they will also be heralding a new era of convenience and efficiency in Lagos,” Osiyemi said.

LASWA General Manager, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said the new vessels were designed with simple maintenance but high efficiency. He reiterated the agency’s commitment to ensure safer, faster and accident-free journey on the Lagos waterways.

He said the local production of ferries would drive more local investments in waterways transportation, just as it would open more commercial routes and access to isolated communities. 

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