The Lagos State Government has taken delivery of seven new boats of international standards built by local manufacturers to address traffic challenges in Lagos.
The Managing Director, Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY), Mr. Abdoulbaq Balogun, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Friday.
While taking delivery of some of the boats at Ipakodo Terminal in Ikorodu, Lagos, Balogun was delighted at the safety features and aesthetics of the boats and commended the manufacturers for meeting global best standards.
He assured commuters of a safe, fast and pleasurable experience on the waterways with the additional boats equipped with state of the arts gadgets.
“Taking delivery of these boats is a testimony to the commitment by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to continue to enable the growth trajectory of the local economy, thereby creating jobs along the value chain of marine transportation system.
“These new boats will be deployed immediately to take care of the increasing number of commuters and we can assure people living in Lagos that they are in for a bundle of productive experiences in water transportation.
“Reason is because the new boats were equipped with modern technological features and built to international standards,’’ Balogun said.
He reiterated the state government’s commitment to multimodal transport system, saying that the government was currently building and renovating 15 new jetties across the coastal lines of the state.
Balogun said that renovation and building of more jetties would open up more routes, noting that some of the new boats would be deployed to the new routes.
He listed the routes as: Badagry-Liverpool- CMS; Agbara-Ojo- Liverpool-CMS; Agbowa Ikosi-Ebute Ero-CMS; Ilaje Bariga- Ebute Ero-CMS.
Others are, Falomo-Victoria Island; Epe-Victoria Island- Falomo; Bayeku-Oke Ira Nla-Badore; Badore-Falomo-CMS Marina; Ibeju Lekki-Falomo etc.
Balogun said that some of the new boats would be deployed specifically to the new routes of Epe and Badagry to create alternative means of transportation.
He said that the commuters facing the challenges of traffic gridlock occasioned by the ongoing road rehabilitation along these axis would make use of water transportation.
The managing director expressed gratitude to Gov. Sanwo-Olu for the record-breaking feat of providing more than 20 watercraft in the fleet of LAGFERRY.
Balogun also commended Sanwo-Olu for fulfilling his promise to Lagos citizens for doubling LAGFERRY’s fleet from 14 to 30 in the shortest time.
“You will recall that Mr. Governor during the launch of LAGFERRY commercial operations and inauguration of eight new boats in February 2020 promised that he will double LAGFERRY’s fleet and increase its capacity to meet the increased ridership of water commuters.
“This is a commendable fulfillment of that promise and we can inform you that Mr. Governor is planning to procure more boats before the end of the year to cater for new routes and jetties that are being built to ensure 30 per cent of commuters’ travel by water.
“Government has also promised to open up the huge potential of the waterways to both local and foreign investors,” Balogun said.
He, however, said that the seven new boats, to be inaugurated during the second anniversary of his administration, had passenger boarding capacity ranging from 30 to 50 persons. (NAN)