The Lagos State Ferry Service (LAGFERRY) has flagged off a 2-day workshop with the theme: Resilient Sailing for Sustainable Economy, organized for the Management staff of the agency at the Mile 2 Jetty Lagos on Saturday, 9 January, 2021.
The Managing Director, LAGFERRY, Hon Abdoulbaq Ladi Balogun addressing participants at the Lagos State Ferry Service (LAGFERRY) 2-day workshop with the theme; Resilient sailing for sustainable economy.
Balogun in his opening remark gave an overview of the agency’s activities in the outgone year despite the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the early quarter of the year.
He said “this workshop, with the theme; Resilient Sailing for Sustainable Economy for a greater Lagos” is being organised to review the success of Y2020 with a view to strategically position LAGFERRY for the challenge ahead in Year 2021 in order to develop a resilience Sailing economy for the State in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the State Government”.
Balogun stated further that “the need to create an instant alternative and decongest the road saw to the procurement and commissioning of 8 new state of the art boats by the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu in february 2020 at Badore, Ajah. This kick-starts our journey to ensuring Lagos commuting public is transported by the waterways. The agency commenced operations from 6 major routes by deploying 12 boats immediately after the launch and this began our Y2020 success story”.
He also highlighted major achievements of the agency, “it is gratifying to note that the deliberate commitment of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s adminstration to engender intermodal transportation system took instant shape as Lagosians took to water transportation and LAGFERRY began to record unprecedented milestones despite the disruptions of the novel corona virus pandemic which necessitated some months of lockdown.
“We were averaging daily commuting of between 800 to 900 passengers and by the month of June we had ferried our 60,000th passenger and by September we celebrated our 100, 000th in the person of Mr Murtala Balogun.
“Today I can proudly tell you that we had commuted over 200,000 passengers within 150 days of operation in the Year 2020.
“In the same year, one of our boats, MV Ayangburen, christened the Sea Warrior of water transport accomplished a feat of completing 22 trips in 7 hours 6 minutes.
“A total number of 2,857 persons have been commuted on our chattered services to different part of the State for pleasure, recreation and business.
“Other achievements worth mentioning includes expansion of operational services to: Epe, Badagry, Agbowa-Ikosi, Agbara and Ibeju-Lekki, contributing 38% of the water transportation index to the transportation matrix of the state, improving water transportation contribution to Lagos GDP from 0.2% to 0.8%, paying high premium to safety and achieving accident free record”.
Cross section of participants at the workshop
“We are all aware of the deplorable state of the Apapa road that is making it impossible for businesses to transact their trade seamlessly. LAGFERRY has being assisting in ensuring ease of doing business by providing innovative logistics solution for cargoes of corporate Lagos through the waterways.
“Between January and December 2020, we have successfully moved 41,040 trucks from our terminal. 2308 cleared goods containers have been received from the port. 941 containers have been loaded back to the port. We have also been able to create 284 employments directly and indirectly.
“The mandate given to us by Mr. Governor to move 30% of Lagosians by the waterways in order to decongest the road is well understood, we equally understand the enormous responsibility and challenge before us for the new year, this is exactly the reason for organizing this workshop.
“Let me use this medium to once again commend and appreciate Mr. Governor for his commitment to water transportation and his unwavering support to LAGFERRY, assuaging to our request for more boats to meet increasing commuting demands by procuring seven additional boats, thereby increasing our boat fleet to 20.
“We are focus, charged and determined to drive his vision for a greater Lagos.
The keynote speaker, Chief Resilient Officer of the Lagos State Resilience Office (LASRO), Arc. Gbolahan Oki in his address stated that the workshop is very apt and cannot be organized at a better time than now when there is a growing need to decongest the roads by developing other alternative modes of transportation that will be sustainable and one of which is water-transportation.
Oki averred that, “as a resilient city, the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been proactive in implementing various resilient policies towards bringing a total reform to the transport sector and the development of water transportation is an integral part of this”.
The Chief Resilient Officer of the State noted that the state government’s huge investment in water transportation is premised on achieving a multimodal transport system that will not only help to tackle constant traffic gridlocks in the metropolis, but meet the transport needs of an estimated population of over 26 million people in the emerging Smart City of Lagos.
“It is therefore gratifying to note that a workshop like this is organized at this early part of the year for the Management team of LAGFERRY, knowing fully that civil servants are the drivers of various reform initiatives of the State government and the importance of training and retraining of personnel cannot be over emphasised,” Oki said.
He also commended the Managing Director of LAGFERRY, “I therefore commend the Managing Director, Lagos State Ferry Services and the Management staff for thinking outside the box and recognizing that a trained and well-focused workforce is crucial to achieving a 21st century water transportation system that is safe, secure and adds value to the socio-economic growth of the state.
“I sincerely commend Hon Abdoulbaq Ladi Balogun for his resilience, passion, commitment and leadership quality, which is impacting positively on the operational efficiency of this agency”.
He also advised the Management of LAGFERRY to put in place necessary safety and security measures that would help build trust and confidence of the commuters and operators by ensuring that they observe all safety measures in their operations, especially the wearing of safety jackets and other safety kits, irrespective of class or social status of your clients.
The 2-day-! workshop capacity building for Management staff of LAGFERRY was concluded on Sunday, 10 January, 2021.