• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Lagos, Caverton unveil locally-built ferries to boost integrated transport system

Sanwo-Olu charges Nigerians to sustain democracy

The Lagos State government and Caverton Marine have commissioned 15 locally-built OMIBUS FRP state-of-the-art 40-passenger ferries to enhance waterways transportation and address road traffic congestions in Nigeria’s biggest economy state.

The ferries project is a public-private partnership 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).

Speaking at the commissioning and handing over of the ferries on Wednesday at the Caverton Marine Shipyard at Badore-Ajah, the state governor, Babajide 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 said the investment in this sector was 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 short-changed, adding that the government will ensure none of the verticals around public transportation is left unattended to.

He said the 15 new locally-built 40-seater passenger ferries, marked the first phase of a broader plan to enhance marine transportation in Lagos, with a total of 25 ferries planned.

According to him, the new ferries, crafted to international standards with only the engines sourced from abroad, were the beginning of a shift towards local manufacturing and backward integration.

Olabode Makanjuola, the chief executive officer of Caverton Group, emphasised the importance of the project in enhancing mobility, reducing road traffic congestion, and improving the quality of life for all Lagos residents through strategic infrastructure development.

He said the project aligned 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 an improved water transport system.

Makanjuola said the ferries, constructed in Lagos, have been certified by the Bureau Veritas and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON). He added that the ferries have been equipped with essential safety features to enhance safety and comfortable journey for passengers on the waterways.

Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the general manager of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), said the initiative was a bold step towards achieving a more efficient, sustainable, and accessible transportation system.

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

Temitope Adewale, chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly committee on transportation, commended the public-private partnership project, assuring that the legislators will ensure laws and policies that give access to funds to enhance transport infrastructure and the production of ferries.

For many years, Caverton has been at the forefront of logistics services in the oil and gas sector, providing marine and aviation services.