Lagos Handover Ebute-Ojo Ferry Terminal to SIFAX Group
In its plans to concession some of the jetties it is building across the state to private operators, the Lagos State Government has given SIFAX Group the concession approval to operate and maintain the Ebute-Ojo Ferry Terminal for a period of 10 years. The company emerged the preferred bidder after a rigorous bidding process with other bidders.
Speaking at the formal handover ceremony of the facility to SIFAX Group, Mr. Falase Pekun, the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Waterways Authority, said the choice of SIFAX Group was hinged on its excellent track record and a convincing business proposal.
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“SIFAX Group has relevant experience in infrastructure concessioning. One of its subsidiaries, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited is the concessionaire of Terminal C of the Tin-Can Island Port and it has done so well in the last eleven years. The business proposal submitted was also very realistic and interesting.”
Pekun also noted that the concession of ferry terminals to experienced operators is one of the executions of the Lagos State Government’s multi-modal transport initiative, aimed at providing efficient and effective transportation options for teeming Lagosians. We believe the PPP business model is the quickest way to activate this plan and that’s the reason our ferry terminals will be managed by private operators.
On his own part, Mr. Saheed Lasisi, General Manager, Business Development and Strategic Planning, who represented Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group at the ceremony, expressed delight at the state government’s choice of SIFAX Group as the preferred concessionaire of the terminal. He promised that SIFAX Group would surpass the expectations of the government in transforming water transportation in the state.
He said: “Over the years, SIFAX Group has acquired both technical and professional expertise in the running of both air and sea terminals. This expertise will be deployed in the running of this ferry terminal and we assure you that we will transform the Ebute-Ojo Ferry Terminal into a hub that is attractive to both passengers and ferry operators.
There are a total of 59 jetties across the state with 29 of them currently being operated for commercial activities, while more are being planned to further open up the water transport sector.
Despite the immense benefits to the economy, inland water transport in Nigeria has had a long history of neglect by both government and the private sector.
The Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Olumuyiwa Alade, express his delight at the impressive handover of the Ebute-Ojo Ferry Terminal.
“We are delighted to take the concession of the Ebute-Ojo Ferry Terminal from the Lagos State Government and I must say that we are very impressed by the long term arrangement offered us.”
“In terms of competent hands and quality service delivery, I want to assure you that Sifax Group would in our best interest, continue to work for the development of Nigeria and Nigerians,” he said.
Under the concession agreement, SIFAX Group will take charge of the ferry berthing terminal, the car park space, passenger services and other services that will transform the terminal into a world class station.
Industry watchers and analysts have argued that with efficient control and private investors participation in the waterways business, the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) could function appropriately to make economic fortunes.
The Lagos State government, according to the LASWA boss, will continue to create the enabling environment for investors by providing huge capital infrastructure, dredging maintenance of the routes, installation of solar panel navigational buoys, radio communication equipment systems, security and safety on the waterways.
Other ferry terminals to be concession are at Mile 2, Ikpakodo in Ikorodu, Osborne in Ikoyi and Badore.
An average of 2 million passengers are ferried monthly on the Lagos waterways, with a projection to rise to about 4 million in two years.
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