By Benjamin Omoike
The launch of the Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY), will take place on Tuesday, February 4. The commissioning project, which will be done by governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will herald commercial operations, and see 14 ferry boats presented for public transportation on Lagos waterways.
Of the 14 boats, eight are new ones. With the project, the state is expected to commute 480, 000 passengers across its waterways daily.
The governor will also launch a LAGFERRY operations app to operate a schedule water transportation services with online/offline ticket bookings.
This is coming barely 72 hours after the government banned the operations of commercial motorcyclists and tricycles on highways, bridges and major roads in the state.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of LAGFERRY, Hon. Ladi Balogun, disclosed this at a press briefing on the commercial launch of operations of LAGFERRY, which held at Bagauda Kaltho Press Center, Alausa, Ikeja over the weekend.
Balogun said the launch is a huge step forward in the integration of multi-modal transportation in the state, a process which has been on since 1999, and that technology will play a big role in the integration.
“Being a megacity and emerging smart city, it is quite obvious that efficient traffic management can best be experienced in Lagos State if the three modes of rail, road and water transportation are effectively integrated to complement one another. Commuting the over 20 million people of Lagos State largely on the road has, thus far, proven ineffective,” Balogun said.
According to him, road transportation has been overstretched, adding that, “the introduction of Minibuses, Keke Marwa and Okada (Motorbikes) has mostly compounded the management of traffic across the state. In as much as these diverse means of road transportation cluster Lagos roads, the bus-stops continue to play host to stranded passengers.”
He said the current administration is committed to changing the narrative.
“It has made, and it is still set to make, quite an appreciable level of investment that is surely poised to lift the face of water transportation in the state. Water transportation is an integral component to the development of the Lagos multi-modal transport system; we have no doubt that the waterways will offer further solution to persistent gridlock on our roads and the ever growing transport demand in the state,” he said.
The commercial operations will commence full scale on Tuesday in six routes and they include: Ipakodo Terminal , Ikorodu-Five Cowries Terminal, Falomo Ikoyi, Ipakodo Terminal, Ikorodu-Ebute Ero Jetty-Elegbata –Lagos Island, Marina Terminal CMS and Five Cowries Terminal, Falomo Ikoyi, -Badore Terminal, Ajah, in Eti-Osa Local Government.
Others are Ebute Ero Jetty, Ojo Local Government-Ijegun Egba Terminal, Oriade LCDA, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government-Marina Terminal, CMS, Mile 2 Terminal, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government-Liverpool Jetty, Apapa- Marina Terminal CMS and Badore Terminal, Ajah, in Eti-Osa Local Government- Ijede Jetty, Ikorodu.
He said the government is poised to encourage more private sector operators to invest in water transportation while it provides more facilities and regulations.
“We are also working in hand with the private sectors, local and international ferries builders with the support of Mr. Governor to acquire more ferries to cover all the 40 waterways routes before the end of the year 2020.
“LAGFERRY is determined to deliver on her mandate through an effective and real time service delivery driven by technology to the good people and business of Lagos. At LAGFERRY, we are set to safely sail Lagos,” Balogun assured.