By Tunde Rufai
The Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) on Sunday said that it had no record of boat accident or near mishap since the launch of commercial operation on Lagos waterways on Feb. 4.
The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of LAGFERRY, Mr Abdoulbaq Balogun disclosed this in an interview with newsmen during the Greater Lagos Independence Cruise on MV Adimu Orisa.
Balogun said as part of efforts to celebrate Nigeria’s 60th Diamond Independence Anniversary, LAGFERRY on Saturday held a boat cruise to showcase the opportunities the firm was providing to commuters through the waterways.
“With the administration of Gov. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, we have seen a lot of transformation on waterways. Everybody should come and look at the progress we have made in waterways sector and our model.
“Safety is our culture and what we do everyday, what we live with and what we sleep with. Every aspect of our operation is safety inclined and we preach to people to be safety conscious when coming onboard.
“So, safety is what we don’t take for granted. It is the number core value of LAGFERRY. With what we have in place and passionate support of Mr Governor, the safety of our people and the safety of our equipment are not taken for granted.
“We want to assure people that since Feb. 4, that we have launched our commercial operations by Mr Governor, we have not recorded a single accident or near mishap,” he said.
Balogun said that the LAGFERRY was doing all according to the best world-class safety standard of maritime industry.
The managing director, who thanked God for the safety, also commended all the firm’s personnel, who he described as being professional in discharging their duty.
Balogun added. “People should have the confidence to come with us to help decongest the road traffic and create a multimodal system of transport.
“We have the regulatory arm, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) and the operating arm, LAGFERRY.
“We are working in collaboration with Lagos State Safety Commission, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency and National Inland Waterways Authority to ensure the safety of our passengers.”
Speaking on the boat cruise to celebrate the nation’s 60th Independence Anniversary, Balogun said that the firm wanted to give Lagosians along coastal lines the possibility of what could be achieved on the waterways.
“We just want to give Lagoosians the possibility of what can happen on the waterways. It is a greater Lagos Independence Cruise and we are coming on water to celebrate 60th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria- the Lagos way.
“There is no state in Nigeria that can be like Lagos because we have the water and we have the people. We want to showcase the hospitality, tourism and other potential the waterway can bring to our economy in Nigeria.
” This is what Lagos has in abundance and we are showing it to the whole world. We want people to come onboard and enjoy themselves and have funs and networks.
“We are doing this to enable our tourism and to also tell the people what can be done onboard our waters-social events, weddings, receptions , meetings, birthday parties and a lot of other things. This is what we are exposing to the whole world.”
He said that the 60th Independence of Nigeria was worth celebrating in spite of all challenges facing Nigeria’s nationhood.
According to him, Nigeria has a lot of potential for development and progress with high prospect to build the dream of its founding fathers which include water.