Sanwo-Olu launches 15 High-capacity fabricated boats to boost Water Transportation

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday, marked the first anniversary of his second term with a unique infrastructure gift to Lagosians.

The Governor launched a fleet of new high-capacity ferries, fabricated and assembled in Lagos to cruise the State’s inland waterways and create a new transportation choice for commuters in the largest mega city in sub-Saharan Africa.

The 15 boats have the capacity to carry 40 passengers each as against the 20 passenger limit in the existing vessels. The ferries were manufactured by Caverton Marine in a factory jointly run by Lagos State Government and the private firm. The factory is located in Badore area of Eti-Osa.

The inauguration of the Omi-Bus carriers marked the completion of the first manufacturing phase in the partnership, with the new ferries immediately deployed for commercial operations by Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) to provide effective mobility options for the residents.

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Sanwo-Olu, joined by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, and members of the State Executive Council, took inaugural ride on the boats, sailing from Badore to Ikoyi. The journey took an average of 27 minutes.

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Aside enhancing rapid connectivity between communities in the State, Sanwo-Olu said the development would further catalyse economic prosperity by saving hours lost in traffic, while also optimising public investment in water transportation.

The Governor said the inauguration of the locally fabricated ferries, designed to operate on the Cowry Card payment system, underscored his administration’s dedication to sustainable partnership that advance the development of intermodal transportation system in Lagos.

Creating viable waterways transportation, Sanwo-Olu said, aligned with his Government’s strategic vision to engender pollution-free mobility that would improve life quality and productivity.

He said: “Today marks yet another significant milestone in our quest to revolutionise transportation in Lagos in line with our T.H.E.M.E.S+ agenda. Acquisition and deployment of these ferries for commercial operations symbolise our commitment to transforming Lagos into a city that thrives on efficient, clean and sustainable transportation.

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“This initiative is a testament to our commitment to creating an integrated, multimodal transportation system that makes daily commutes smoother and more seamless. The launch of these ferries reaffirms our dedication to enhancing the quality of life for all Lagosians, while investing in infrastructure that promotes safety, reliability and convenience for the public.”

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Sanwo-Olu disclosed that additional 25 high-capacity ferries were expected to be fabricated in the second phase of construction in the boat factory. This, he said, would further reduce the turnaround time in waterways transportation, while expanding ferry services to more routes.

The Governor assured Lagosians that the ferries were equipped with revolutionary technology to ensure commuters’ safety, comfort, and convenience, adding that the safety measures would be complemented by the modern technology installed in LASWA Command and Control Centre.

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The State’s waterways regulator, Sanwo-Olu added, had recently acquired two additional patrol boats, and set up a Search and Rescue Unit, and a floating clinic for quick response to emergencies.

Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Oluwaseun Osiyemi, said the OmiBus ferry project was initiated to transform commuting in the metropolis, with a special focus on rapid transiting and convenience.

“These modern ferries, with their advanced amenities and safety features, will not only ensure comfortability of passengers in secure journeys, they will also herald a new era of convenience and efficiency in Lagos. Mr. Governor’s visionary leadership and tireless effort in prioritising the development of our inland waterways has been nothing short of inspiring. This has laid the foundation for a transportation system that will serve future generations,” Osiyemi said.

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LASWA General Manager, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, said the new vessels were designed with simple maintenance but high efficiency. He reiterated the agency’s commitment to ensure safer, faster and accident-free journey on the Lagos waterways.

 

He said the local production of ferries would drive more local investments in waterways transportation, just as it would open more commercial routes and access to isolated communities.

 

Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Transportation, Hon. Temitope Adewale, said the success of the partnership had further raised the confidence of the public in Governor Sanwo-Olu, saying: “This is what Lagosians want. This will enhance intermodal transportation system that will give people the choice to use all means of mobility.”

Other highlights of the commissioning included the inspection of the manufacturing facility of the factory by the Governor.

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