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NIWA takes delivery of two 47-seater water buses…plans ferry services for Satellite, FESTAC Towns, Mile 2 environs

Lagos Area Manager, NIWA, Mr Muazu Sambo

One of the new boats on a test sail
The National
Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has disclosed its plans to initiate ferry
services to cover residents around Trade Fair, Satellite and FESTAC Towns, and
Mile 2 areas of Lagos State.


NIWA’s new water bus 
Taking
delivery of two 47-seater water buses in Lagos on Monday, the NIWA Lagos Area Manager,
Mr Muazu Sambo, told newsmen that the water buses would be deployed to ease the
difficulties people face travelling the congested roads.

“We are
looking at the vast majority of people who live around the Trade fair, Satellite
town, Okomaiko, Festac down to Mile 2.

“If we
deploy these buses on the Ijegun, Mile 2, CMS route, we are hopeful it will
ameliorate the travelling situation of Lagosians living in those environs,”
Sambo said.

He clarified
that the operation of the water buses would be handled on a lease model since
because NIWA strictly focus on regulatory functions.

Sambo said
NIWA was considering a private operator who has been efficient since it began
operating its fleet along different route.

“Because the
National Inland Waterways Authority is no longer an operator, we are looking at
private sector participation through lease agreement.

“The
National Inland Waterways Authority will derive revenue by way of lease
payment, while the operator will ensure that the buses are run efficiently, and
such revenues are remitted to the authority as and when due.”

The Lagos
Area Manager, NIWA, said it is hoped that residents of these areas would get
some ease in travelling, especially to and from Lagos Island where most of them
visit daily for businesses.

 He noted that NIWA’s long-tern vision and core
mandate to engender efficient water transportation system remain critical to
opening new areas for the services to help residents of Lagos travel with ease
by water.

Onepageafrica
reports that the water buses, designed and built locally by Sealift Marine Boatyard,
Lekki Lagos, are fitted each with three of 300 horse-power Suzuki outboard
engines.

The Head of
Marine Unit, NIWA Lagos Area office, Engr. Sarat Sulaiman, said the choice of catamarans
was informed by safety, besides its ability to move into any terrain.

She said the
outboard engines are easily maintained, especially when they take in dirt from
the water, unlike an inboard engine that could be quite difficult to maintain
and easily damaged when they take in dirt.

The boats
are also fitted with all safety gadgets as required.

At least,
five engineers have also been booked for training, the management said.

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