Brisbane, Australia – Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), pushed ahead with another electoral promise of accelerating inter-modal transportation through the extensive use of the state’s waterways, when he witnessed the signing of the Ferry Manufacturing Agreement for the state between Aluminium Boats Company of Brisbane, Australia, and a consortium of water transportation practitioners, Eko Water Buses Limited. The agreement signing event, which was preceded by an inspection and a ride on one of the prototype ferries, being manufactured for the state, by Fashola and his entourage, is for the initial batch of 60 ferries each, with a 200 passenger capacity to be deployed on various routes.
These ferries are like the water buses because of their passenger carrying capacity. The inspection and agreement signing followed a recent Memorandum of Understanding between the Lagos State Government, represented by the Private Public Partnerships Office and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) and the consortium, Eko Water Buses Limited, which aims to deploy one ferry for a pilot scheme by July this year. According to the agreement and production schedule, five more of the purpose built and fully fitted high capacity ferries will be deployed by December this year, making a total of six.
Fashola and his entourage were received in Brisbane by a representative of the Premier of Queensland, the Treasurer and Minister for Trade, Mr. Tim Nicholls, the top management of Aluminium Boats Company of Australia, including its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Stuart Pascoe and General Manager, Mr. Tommy Ericson as well as representatives of the consortium, Eko Water Buses Limited, led by its Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Muyiwa Omololu and their technical partners including Mr. John Waterhouse and Captain Elgin Mckilop.
Also on hand to meet with the Governor and his entourage which included the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Private Partnerships, Mr Ayo Gbeleyi and Managing Director of the Lagos State Waterways Authority ( LASWA),Mr Yinka Marinho were representatives of international financial institutions backing the landmark project, including Westpac institutional Bank of Brisbane, Commercial Banking of Australia and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation ( EFIC).
At an earlier related event, initiators of the scheme; Mr. Muyiwa Omololu led a high powered delegation to the Lagos State Governor to conduct a detailed presentation. Mr. Omololu stated that the venture is expected to offer a faster means of transportation in Lagos state with the highest level of Safety Standards. It will also create about 5,000 jobs for Lagosians when implemented. Apart from a test ride on the prototype of the ferry demonstrating its versatility, durability and safety features, the Governor and his entourage also undertook an extensive tour of the company’s boat yard during which he inspected one of the boats being built for the Lagos operations.
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