Sanwo-Olu unveils seven new high-capacity boats for water transport

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday expanded the capacity of the Lagos State Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) with the delivery of seven additional high-capacity speed boats to shore up the agency’s fleet for rapid transit on the waterways.

The governor flagged off the use of the new boats for commercial operations at an event held at the administrative yard of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Five Cowries Terminal in Falomo, Ikoyi.

Also at the event, Mr Sanwo-Olu launched the use of cowry card for passengers using water transportation to create a seamless payment scheme in line with the state’s multimodal transportation system. This integrates the LAGFERRY services to an automated payment solution already created for the BRT services and the state-owned rail lines which are coming on board.

LAGFERRY has moved over 500,000 passengers in the past year with 14 boats it previously acquired. With the additional boats to its fleet, the agency now has improved efficiency and capacity to move close to a million passengers across Lagos waterways yearly.

Sanwo-Olu, represented at the event by Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat, said the procurement of the new boats was in fulfillment of his administration’s pledge to boost the fleet of LAGFERRY and increase its capacity to transport more Lagosians daily in order to reduce traffic congestion on the roads.

He said: “The impressive performance of LAGFERRY in the last one year is an indication of the growing confidence of the residents in water transportation. This justifies our decision to procure additional boats to enhance LAGFERRY’s operations and capacity to meet the transportation demands of its teeming passengers. The procurement of these new high-capacity boats is in fulfillment of our promise to double the number of boats in the fleet of LAGFERRY and increase its capacity to reduce traffic congestion on our roads.

“We are also launching the Cowry Card for water transportation to create a seamless payment scheme for our Multimodal Transportation System, which is gradually taking shape as we have commenced the integration of our rail lines, bus terminals and waterways. I am pleased to inform you that we are already witnessing positive outcomes from our investment in the safety and viability of our waterways as a safe alternative to road transportation.”

The governor said his administration was currently undertaking the construction and rehabilitation of 15 jetties across the state, as well as embarking on the dredging of the Lagos lagoon to open up more routes in waterway transportation.

Commissioner for transportation Frederic Oladehinde said the administration’s approach to solving the state’s transportation gap was to adopt an all-round approach which took cognizance of the development of all modes of transportation.