Lagos, Caverton Unveils Locally-built Ferries To Boost Transport System, Combat Traffic Congestion

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The Lagos State government and Caverton Marine have commissioned 15 locally built OMIBUS FRP state-of-the-art 40-passenger ferries to revolutionise and enhance waterways transportation and address the road traffic congestion that plagues the state.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while commissioning the ferries, on Wednesday said the 15 OmiBus boats are part of the state’s efforts to enhance the daily transit experience for residents through safer, faster and more comfortable trips.

Sanwo-Olu said the 40-passenger modern boats – the first phase of the planned 25 boats – were fully built locally, except their engines, with an eye on improving inland waterways transportation and setting standards.

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 ceremony of the ferries yesterday at the Caverton Marine Shipyard at Badore-Ajah, Lagos, 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 is 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 shortchanged, adding that the government will ensure none of the verticals around public transportation will be left unattended to.

The governor said the 15 new locally-built 40-seater passenger ferries commissioned, marks the first phase of a broader plan to enhance marine transportation in Lagos, with a total of 25 ferries planned.
He said the new ferries, crafted to international standards with only the engines sourced from abroad, symbolise a shift towards local manufacturing and backward integration.

Also speaking, the chief executive officer of Caverton Group, Olabode Makanjuola, emphasised the importance of this project in enhancing mobility and reduced road traffic congestion as well as to improve the quality of life for all Lagos residents through strategic infrastructure development.

He said the project aligns 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 improved water transport system.

Makanjuola noted that the ferries, which were constructed in Lagos, are certified by both Bureau Veritas and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and are as well equipped with essential safety features, ensuring a secure and comfortable journey for passengers on the inland waterways.

He said the project symbolises Caverton’s unwavering commitment to local development, innovation, quality and safety, while acknowledging the support of the state government in integrating water transportation into its intermodal transportation system, rather than merely a corporate social responsibility for coastal communities.

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

He said the Omi-Bus ferries project is 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.

Emmanuel said these state-of-the-art ferries have modern amenities and safety features that will ensure passengers a comfortable and secure journey, as well as heralding a new era of convenience and efficiency Lagos waterways transport.

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

He also commended the governor for enhancing infrastructure development of the state, noting that an intermodal transport system will give effective mass transit to the people to reduce the usage of vehicles on the roads, thereby creating interconnectivity with the waterways, rail and the road.

Also speaking, the Lagos State commissioner of Transport, Seun Osiyemi, emphasised that the ferries are testaments to the collective commitment to enhance the quality of life for all Lagos residents.

He said this initiative is about connecting communities, fostering economic growth and reducing the stress and congestion that often characterise people’s daily comings as well as a bold step towards attaining a more efficient, sustainable and accessible transportation system reflecting unwavering dedication to progress and innovation.

For many years, Caverton has been at the forefront of logistics services in the oil and gas sector, providing marine and aviation services. Today, the company is proud to extend its expertise to tackle one of the most pressing challenges facing Lagosians-Chronic traffic congestion. Aligned with the transportation vision of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu government, which aims to establish an integrated transportation infrastructure. This innovation is indeed creating an alternative and sustainable mode of transport in Lagos with its popular mantra ‘Lets Keep Lagos Moving ‘

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