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Sanwo-Olu launches 15 high-capacity, locally fabricated boats to boost water transportation

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•As govt, indigenous manufacturer partner on assembly factory

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Ibrahim Quadri

 

Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday commissioned 15 locally built 40-passenger ferries to revolutionize and enhance waterways transportation in the State.

 

The ferries tagged, ‘OMIBUS’ is in partnership with Caverton Marine which is aimed at advancing the state’s transport infrastructure, providing a reliable, safe, and efficient mode of transportation for residents in conformity with the global sustainable development goals (SDG).

 

The inauguration of the ferries took place at Badore-Ajah, Lagos.

 

The Governor who inspected the ferries, took a trip from Five-Cowrie at Falomo to Badore, Ajah and ferried back home.

 

Speaking during the commissioning, Sanwo-Olu said with 22 per cent of the state’s landmass covered by water and waterways surrounding 42 out of its 57 local governments and LCDAs, there is significant potential for marine transport.

 

Sanwo-Olu explained that the investment in this sector is designed to facilitate safe and efficient movement of people, goods, and services across the city, contributing to its economic growth.

 

He highlighted the comprehensive approach to ensure an integrated urban mass transportation system that will not be shortchanged, adding that the government will ensure none of the verticals around public transportation will be left unattended to.

 

The governor said the15 new locally-built 40-seater passenger ferries commissioned, marks the first phase of a broader plan to enhance marine transportation in Lagos, with a total of 25 ferries planned.

 

He said the new ferries, crafted to international standards with only the engines sourced from abroad, symbolized a shift towards local manufacturing.

 

Sanwo-Olu said, “This initiative is a testament to our commitment to creating an integrated, multimodal transportation system that makes daily commutes smoother and more seamless.

 

“As we launch these ferries, we reaffirm our dedication to enhancing the quality of life for all Lagosians. We are investing in infrastructure that promotes safety, reliability, and convenience, while also reflecting the modernity and ambition of Lagos State.

 

“I am proud to announce that these ferries were built right here in Lagos by the indigenous company Caverton Marine, under the supervision of Bureau Veritas. This not only harnesses local talent but also boosts our economy and ensures adherence to the highest safety and quality standards.

 

“To the people of Lagos: These ferries are built for you, by you, and with your contributions. They symbolize better days ahead. As we launch them into our waterways, let us do so with collective pride and purpose. Let us continue to strive for excellence in all our endeavors.”

 

The  Chief Executive Officer of Caverton Group, Mr. Olabode Makanjuola, emphasized the importance of this project in enhancing mobility and reduced road traffic congestion as well as to improve the quality of life for all Lagos residents through strategic infrastructure development.

 

He said the project aligns with the transportation vision of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, which aims to create an integrated transportation infrastructure to enhance connectivity and mobility across the state with improved water transport system.

 

Makanjuola noted that the ferries, which were constructed in Lagos, are certified by both Bureau Veritas and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and are as well  equipped with essential safety features, ensuring a secure and comfortable journey for passengers on the inland waterways.

 

He said the project symbolizes Caverton’s unwavering commitment to local development, innovation, quality and safety, adding he acknowledged the support of the state government in integrating water transportation into its intermodal transportation system, rather than merely a corporate social responsibility for coastal communities.

 

General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said the initiative is a bold step towards achieving a more efficient, sustainable, and accessible transportation system.

 

He said the Omi-Bus ferries project is not just about improving transportation, but transforming lives, movement, connecting communities, fostering economic growth, and reducing the stress and congestion that often characterized daily commutes.

 

Emmanuel said these state-of-the-art ferries have modern amenities and safety features that will ensure passengers a comfortable and secure journey, as well as heralding a new era of convenience and efficiency Lagos waterways transport.

 

Also speaking, the State Commissioner of Transport, Seun Osiyemi, emphasiszed that the ferries are testaments to the collective commitment to enhance the quality of life for all Lagos residents.

 

He said this initiative is about connecting communities, fostering economic growth and reducing the stress and congestion that often characterize people’s daily comings as well as a bold step towards attaining a more efficient, sustainable and accessible transportation system reflecting unwavering dedication to progress and innovation.

 

In his goodwill message, the Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly on Transportation, Temitope Adewale, commended the public private partnership project, assuring that the legislators will ensure laws and policies that will give access to funds to enhance transport infrastructure and the production of ferries.

 

He also commended the governor for enhancing infrastructure development of the state, noting that an intermodal transport system will give effective mass transit to the people to reduce the usage of vehicles on the roads, thereby creating interconnectivity with the waterways,  rail and the road.

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