The Lagos multi and inter modal transportation system moved higher yesterday with the launch of the Lagos State Ferry Services Corporation (LAGFERRY) operations, mobile app and inauguration of 14 commercial boats by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The launch took place at Badore Ferry Terminal, Ajah. The governor said before the end of the year, the ferries would be increased to 30 and more than 500 buses would be injected into the bus transport system to solve transportation problems.
Sanwo-Olu said the launch was in fulfilment of his administration’s promise to provide effective and integrated inter modal transportation system.
“Water transportation is one of the intermodal transportation tripods we are committed to developing as a strategy, to reduce congestion on our roads, which accounts for over 90 per cent of commuting in Lagos State,” he said.
The governor said for Lagos to be a functional smart city desired by all, there must be diversification of the mode of transportation.
He added: “There must be interconnectivity of the rail, road and water transportation systems.
“However, the narrative of water transportation in Lagos State is set to change, as we are set to take full advantage of the water body nature has endowed us with, to decongest our roads, reduce travel time and promote a healthy environment through reduction of carbon emission.”
The boats have the capacity to ferry 40 to 60 passengers at a go and will commute passengers from Ikorodu, Ebute Ero, CMS, Badore and Ikoyi among other routes.
Sanwo-Olu said that adequate measures had been put in place to ensure safety on the waterways through the empowerment of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), to effectively discharge its monitoring and regulatory duties.
“We will also sustain a cordial relationship with federal regulatory agencies, including Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
“We are committed to increasing investment in the development of more routes on the waterways, constructing more jetties and providing more modern ferries. There is room for more private sector participation in water transportation as we continue to provide more facilities and ensure full compliance with safety regulations,” he said.
The governor said the boats were constructed “here by our local builders and they come with state of the art technology you can find anywhere in the world. We are proud of this feat and I am using this medium to once again assure our local builders of patronage. I urge them to continue to maintain international best standard.
“Let me emphasise that intermodal transportation is the way to go, given our natural endowment, increasing population and the need to ensure efficient movement of materials, goods and people. By the time the Lagos light rail project becomes effective and is expanded, coupled with renewed efforts to improve water transportation in addition to numerous ongoing road development projects across the state, it is expected that a more robust public transportation will evolve and Lagosians will be the better for it.”
LAGFERRY Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer AbdulBaq Ladi Balogun had said that the launch would set the next frontier for Lagos economy and chart a new course for water transportation.
He said Lagos is blessed with at least 10 lagoons, adding that the government is committed to harnessing the role “these lagoons play and are capable of playing in the management of traffic and transportation, which is the first pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda of Governor Sanwo-Olu.”
Balogun said: “We have planned to deploy our 14 ferries to cover the three senatorial zones from these routes of Ikorodu-Ebute Ero/Elegbata-CMS/Marina, Ikorodu-Five Cowries Ferry Terminal (Falomo, Ikoyi.), Badore – Addax Jetty (Victoria Island), Five Cowries Ferry Terminal (Falomo, Ikoyi), Ebute Ojo-Ijegun Egba- CMS/Marina, Mile 2 – Liverpool (Apapa) – CMS/Marina, Badore- Ijede.”