Lagferry plans 25% increase in water transportation usability in Lagos


… To deploy six commercial ferries, one car barge, cover new routes
File Photo

The Lagos Ferry Services Company, also known as Lagferry, has unveiled its master plan for full commercial ferry services in the State, with projections to increase by 25 per cent, the usability of water transportation by residents.

Chief Executive of Lagferry, Hon. Paul Kalajaiye, in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos, said that the company would by the end of January be taking delivery of two additional ferries to the initial two it has at the Five Cowries Terminal, Ikoyi.

He said: “We have two new ferries at the Five Cowries Terminal and we look forward to bringing in the remaining five. Let me just add here that if  you want to buy a brand new ferry, it takes a minimum of nine months to build.

"But, as we speak, two additional ferries are on our waters coming to Lagos. So, we hope to take delivery at the end of this month, which will make the ferries four. And the remaining will be by the second quarter of the year.”

Kalejaiye disclosed that they would commence operations as soon as the ferries get commissioned by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

He stated that though the company considers beginning its operations at their jetty at Mile 2, it would not rule out opting for other location if they do not get done with some infrastructure planned for the place.

“We are looking at commencing operations in Mile 2, and looking to see if we can put up some minimal infrastructure for some skeletal use in the next two months. But if we are not able to get the place up to the desired standard within the time, then we will begin to operate at the Five Cowries or the Ilaje Jetty,” Kalejaiye said.

The Lagferry Chairman also said that the mapped out plan would be to have their operations cover three short routes and four long-distance routes , 
as he puts it: “  Though we are still working at it, we plan that our operations will be from Mile 2 to Marina or Mile 2 to Ebute-Ero.  By enough collaboration with NIWA, we will cover Mile 2, Marina and Ebute-Ero. We also intend to cover Marina-Ikorodu.

“We are also considering the possibility of Ijegun-Egba and a new route, which is Ilaje. We will do shuttle from Apapa to Mile 2, Apapa- Marina. We will do like three short routes and four major long routes. The car barge will easily  transport automobiles. So, rather than drive long distances roundabout, the cars are simply moved across the water on the barge.”

Kalejaiye said that Lagferry had also taken into utmost consideration the transportation safety administration; that is, the issue of safety of water transportation users, beginning with the model of its ferries and strict adherence to the use of all safety gadgets on commencement of operations.

He said that the state government had also signed a pact with a number of companies that sell their products in plastic bottles, for them to commence cleaning of the waterways; removal and proper disposal of plastic bottles, as part of efforts toward improved navigability.

He added that Lagferry would be strong in advocacy to address the need for proper channelization and demarcation of the ferry routes from the fishermen’s route, and from the dredgers’ route.

He remarked that “It is a lot of resources and a lot of responsibility, so there must be collaboration between the state and the federal authorities.”