Patronage of water transport increased in Lagos from 0.8 percent to 3.2 percent between 2020 and 2021.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, disclosed this in Lagos on Friday.
The commissioner spoke during the barge cruise from Falomo to Lekki Ikoyi Link Bridge in commemoration of Nigeria’s Independence Day.
Recall that that the programme was organised by the Lagos State Ministry Tourism, Art and culture, Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) and Goge Africa.
According to the commissioner, before the establishment of Lagos Ferry Service, the contribution of water transportation stood at 0.8 per cent.
“But in less that two years, the water index patronage stood at 3.2 percent.
“Lagos State is a state of aquatic and we are in a cruise ride to commemorate the Independence Day and also to showcase tourism potentials in the state.
“The Lagos State is trying to domesticate tourism in Nigeria and we also want people to go on boat, ferry or barges ride to enable them see the visibility of Lagos State.
“Water transportation is promoting tourism in Lagos, and I am encouraging Lagos residents to patronise water transport which is easier in moving from one location to another without encountering traffic.
Akinbile-Yussuf also advised business men and women to make use of water transport to reduce cost and duration of moving goods from point of origin to destination.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Art and Culture, Mr Solomon Bonu, said they went on the cruise to experiment domestic tourism.
Bonu said that gone were the days when Lagosians went outside the state for entertainment, adding that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had been working at ensuring tourism was domesticated in the state.
“We are trying to open water transport to Lagosians that they can have their event, parties on water.
“Life goes on, adding that entertainment can take place in as much we all abide with all protocols of COVID-19,” Bonu said.
He urged Nigerians to patronise boat cruise, noting that it is safer, entertaining and economical, particularly for carriage of goods from the ports to other part of Lagos.
The Managing Director, Lagos Ferry Services, Mr Abdul-Baqi Balogun, said the state was showcasing the water potential on social, business and entertainment as the service cruised over 300 people on barge cruise within Lagos.
Balogun said that whatever was being done on the road could be replicated on water without spending much energy and money
He said that apart from using the barges to cargo goods, it was being used in transporting cars as well as entertainment such as weddings, birthdays, conference and anniversaries.
“We had anniversary cruise for Nigeria in 2020 and here we are again celebrating Nigeria at 61 in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry Tourism, Art and culture, Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) and Goge Africa,” Balogun said.
He said that the boat took off from Falomo Terminal to Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge, Igirin River, Badore, Ikorodu Ipakodo terminal and came back to Falomo terminal
Balogun said that everyone onboard were on lifejackets, adding that Lagos State had been setting a safety standards for everybody to make water transport attractive for Lagos residents.
He said that Lagos State Government had improved land transportation in the state with the establishment of Bus Transit Ltd.
He added that there was improvement on water transport while the rail project was ongoing
Balogun said that the service was having tremendous increase in ridership since it started operation in February.
The Vice Chairman, Lagos Island East LCDA, Mrs Monsurat Balogun, said she was proud of Lagos for experiencing water cruise and pleaded with Nigerians to patronise water transport for their business and event.Follow us on social media