DEVELOPMENT OF FERRY SERVICES IN THE LAGOS METROPOLITAN AREA
Lagos metropolitan area is by far the largest and most complex urban area in Nigeria and, in economic terms, it is pre-eminent. With about 17.8 million inhabitants, Lagos is also one of the largest cities of the world, and its population is growing rapidly at a rate of nearly 6% per annum. It contains the largest manufacturing sector and provides employment for over 45% of the skilled manpower of the country.
The poor condition of the road network and of the public transport system affects severely the development of the city and the working and living conditions of the population, particularly the poorer part of it. A lack of adequate infrastructural expansion over the years to cope with the increasing population has resulted in heavy traffic congestion within the city. Traveling within Lagos takes double and sometime triple the normal time, adversely affecting economic development and quality of life.
To address this problem, there is need to diversify Lagos transport modes and encourage modal choice for passengers. Water transportation is a realistic and potentially effective option given that Lagos is blessed with abundant water bodies that could be harnessed to offer fast, safe, comfortable and cheaper water transportation services.
In comparison with other major urban developments near or situated close to the sea and/or riverine and lagoon systems, the percentage of water transportation in the overall matrix of transports modes for Lagos State is well below 1%. Other cities like London, Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Melbourne, Sydney, New York, etc. have a well established water transportation system, which roughly amounts to 5-10% of the overall commuter traffic flows.
The state government has therefore made it its policy to develop, very rapidly, commuter water transportation routes in the state to arrest the decline in the quality of life in Lagos and sustain economic development in the state and ultimately the country.
The routes are to be developed using a Public Private Partnership (PPP) delivery strategy, whereby the public sector (LAMATA on behalf of the state) finances infrastructure provision (jetties and landings, car-parks, access roads etc) whilst the private sector provides and operates ferry services to specifications to be provided by LAMATA.
The Proposed Water Transportation Routes
A detailed feasibility study of the development of ferry services is underway (by Royal Haskoning Ltd) in order to achieve the development and implementation of a detailed strategic plan for improving the use of waterways of Metropolitan Lagos for transport services, including establishing, formulating and implementing an appropriate regulatory framework, promotion of scheme for the encouragement of private sector participation in the provision of commuter water transport services.
Seven main routes have been identified for development (see figure 1(Please create a hyperlink with the map)) of which 3 routes and the Marina terminal are earmarked as priority (create hyperlink to figure 2). The priority routes are;
- Ikorodu to Marina (North Direct Line)
- Ebutte Ojo (LASU) to Marina via Satellite Town (Ijegun Egba) (West Line) and
- Ijede-Badore to Marina via Lekki and Falomo (East Line)
There is also a plan to develop Osborne and turn it into a major terminal Interchange. (create hyperlink to the Osborne Interchange plan)
Proposed Water Commuter Routes
The 3 routes earmarked as Priority
Repairs and Spot Improvements to Terminals and Waterways
One of the major constraints on existing and potential water transport services is the inadequacy in the provision of safe and attractive terminal facilities. LAMATA is therefore embarking on spot improvements along some routes to help shorten and /or make water commuting safer. The objectives of the Repairs and Spot Improvements to Terminals and Waterways are as follows;
- Repairs or provision of water transport terminal/Interchange infrastructure that is safe for communities heavily dependent on water transport
- Spot improvements along some routes.
- To improve water safety and make it more attractive to users.
Presently, LAMATA has almost completed the rehabilitation of two jetties; Agboyi-Ketu jetty in Oriade Local Council Development Area of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area and Ijegun-Egba jetty in Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development Area in Kofose Local Government Area of Lagos State. The rehabilitation works includes installation of sheet piles, construction of waiting shelters, electrification of the jetty area, resurfacing of access roads and provision of required traffic system measures amongst other things.
Old Agboyi-Ketu jetty
Agboyi-Ketu jetty after rehabilitation by LAMATA
Also, LAMATA has engaged a contractor to rehabilitate additional two jetties at Epeme and Iya-Afin, both at Badagry Local Government. Work on these jetties will commence shortly.