The Lagos Ferry Service Company (LAGFERRY), has called on traditional rulers and organisations to channel part of their Corporate Social Responsibility toward supporting it with safety equipment.
Its Managing Director, Mr Abdul-Baqi Balogun, made the request on Thursday while receiving 50 life jackets from Oba Saheed, the Elegushi of Ikate, Lagos and 40 from the Rotary Club of Lagos.
Balogun said the support of more companies would further encourage water transportation which would decongest traffic on the roads.
The managing director said that the commitment and passion displayed by the Rotary club and the traditional ruler would enable LAGFERRY management to be proactive in its duties.
He said: “We sincerely appreciate the life jackets donated by the Oba Elegushi and the Rotary Club of Nigeria. This gesture has shown that people are really watching our operations.
“Water transportation is safer and smoother compared to other means of transportation.
“Before the commencement of our operations, the contribution of water transportation in Lagos stood at 0.8 per cent, but with our operations, it has increased to 3.8 per cent.”
Balogun said that LAGFERRY had not suffered any water accident since it began its operations two years ago, adding that the support would reinforce safety.
Earlier, the Elegushi of Ikate had said that there was the need to encourage and support the efforts of the state government and the management of LAGFERRY.
Elegushi, represented by the Aro-Oba of Elegushi, Mr Ganiu Bakare, commended Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s efforts toward easing transportation in Lagos.
The traditional ruler added the he would support government’s gesture toward ensuring free flow of transportation.
He said: “I grew up in a waterfront area; right from a young age, I kept going to Tarkwa Bay.
“To be honest, there has been a tremendous improvement on water transportation. Back then, regulatory of safety on water was not in existence.
“Now, as a boat owner myself, we can see the efforts of the government in ensuring that both waterways and passengers are safe.”
The representative of the Rotary Club of Nigeria, Rotarian Tosin Olabintan, regretted that commuters go through a lot of stress commuting from their homes to their places of work.
He said that government had given transportation options with waterways which was healthier and faster than road transportation.
“Water transportation is faster and less stressful because, in a couple of minutes, one can reach his or her destination.
“If we want to encourage people to travel on water, we should provide what they need and ensure that they are safe; that is why we decided to donate life jackets.”
Olabintan urged ferry operators to ensure that all their passengers put on the life jackets.