Top government officials and others at the event

As part of continued efforts to decongest the road and increase the number of commuters on water transport, the Lagos State Government has kick-started a promo package tagged “Sailin and Smiling raffle promo” where commuters stands to win lots of prizes as they purchase Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) tickets.

Speaking at a press conference held at the five cowries terminal to kick-start the promo at the weekend, the Managing Director, LAGFERRY, Ladi Balogun explained that the mega promo which is in conjunction with a private firm, Elivate9ja and supported by other companies like Coscharis Group, Samsung, among others, is designed primarily to attract more commuters to embrace the waterways and reward loyal patronage.

“As you are all aware we recently took delivery of 7 additional new boats to increase our fleet to 20. These boats will be deployed to several routes within the state, we will have more capacity to ferry more people so we decided to use this promo as an incentives to attract more Lagosians to embrace a means of transportation that is safe, fast, devoid of traffic and very reliable”

Balogun, who reeled out some of the agency’s achievements in the last one year informed that they have moved about 500,000 passengers across the waterways between February 2020 till date.

“Since commencement of operation, the agency has never recorded any accident. We are enabling commerce by providing logistics solution to business owners moving their trucks and cargoes through the waterways within Apapa. We are the only operator that can boast of having 20 number of boats in its fleet thanks to Mr Babajide Sanwo- Olu who is showing unrivaled commitment to improve water transportation. And of course we are promoting tourism through regular charter services and we recently ferried the Nigeria male soccer team, the Super Eagles to Benin Republic for their AFCON tournament,” he said.

In his goodwill message, the General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Agency, LASWA, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, commended the collaboration from both the public and private sector, adding that no single sector could harness its potentials alone.

While calling for more private sector participation in the water transportation business, he commended LAGFERRY for the initiative and commended the support of other agencies to making the promo possible.

On why the ultimate weekly price is a car, Emmanuel explained that the government is trying to promote the “park and ride” culture.

“Where you drive to any jetty in the state, park your car at the ample park spaces provided at the jetty and board a boat to your destination, come back, pick your car and head home.

“The Lagos state government is committed to the intermodal transport system of road, rail and water all to be connected through one means of payment system called the cowry card.”

Also speaking, the General Manager Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, Mr Afolabi Solebo, said that with the involvement of consumer protection agency, it had shown the level of sincerity of all the Stakeholders involved in the promo.

Solebo assured passengers of protecting their rights to the last minute and urged them to embrace water transportation as alternative to road.

The Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Lottery and Gaming Authority, Mr Bashir Are, represented by Senior legal Officer, Oyinkan Kusamotu, said they would ensure compliance to the promo.

He commended the Lagferry for creating awareness for Lagos residents to shift from road to water transportation in the state.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Elivate 9JA, Mr George Ogan, said the partnership would bring excitement for ferry users through the buying of Lagferry tickets which enables passengers to qualify for the raffle.

He explained that there were lot of prizes such as microwaves, washing machines, television sets, Cars, among other prices.

Ogan said there would be refreshment for early passengers of Lagferry during the promo.