Good News !! if you frequently patronize the waterway transport then this is for you .
The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has received two catamaran passenger WaterBus boats built by SeaLink Marine Boatyard in Lagos, Nigeria.
The boats were received by Mr. Mu’azu Sambo the Area Manager, Lagos on behalf of the Managing Director NIWA. He said that the boats received will be deployed as soon as a private operator is engaged.
“We are looking at the vast majority of people who live around the Trade fair, Satellite town, Okomaiko, FESTAC down to Mile 2.
“If we deploy these buses on the Ijegun, Mile 2, CMS route, we are hopeful it will ameliorate the travelling situation of Lagosians living in those environs.
“Because the National Inland Waterways Authority is no longer an operator, we are looking at private sector participation through lease agreement.”
He also explained that being the regulator of the sector, NIWA is not permitted to operate the vessels which might be a reason why it might not be deployed till a private operator is engaged..
Sambo stated that the Authority would engage private operators who would operate the ferries in areas of Lagos with high population in order to ameliorate the pains of people commuting from those parts of Lagos.
He added that the initiative “will derive revenue by way of lease payment, while the operator will ensure that the water buses are run efficiently, and such revenues are remitted to the Authority as and when due.”
Engr. Sarat Sulaiman, the Head of Marine Department, NIWA Lagos Area office, explaining further said the dual hull vessels which are fitted with three 300 horse power outboard engines could cover 25knots.
She stated that two out of the three engines will to be used daily while the third one will be reserved for times of emergency.
On the choice of outboard engines, the Head Marine said they are more suitable for the Nigerian waters as they allow for the easy removal of dirt entangled in the engine and could be easily maintained.
Assuring newsmen of the safety of the design, Sulaiman maintained that catamarans remained the world’s best in times of safety, stability and its ability to move on shallow waters.
She also disclosed that there is a plan to train engineers who would ensure regular maintenance of the boats.