Plans are under way to begin Nigeria to Ghana ferry services, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has said.
The ferry service is expected to connect Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos, to the port city of Tema, Ghana.
Already, some local and foreign investors have indicated interest to operate ferries within Lagos as well as from Lagos to Tema in Ghana.
NIWA, Lagos Area Office Manager, Mr. Mu’azu Sambo, who dropped the hint in a chat with reporters in Lagos , said the ferries would move passengers and goods along the West Africa sub-region.
According to Sambo, the services would further ease the movement of people, especially those living in the outskirts of Lagos but come to work daily on the Lagos Island.
“Only two weeks ago, we granted approval for an investor in Sierra Leone, who has brought in nine boats. He is already doing a lot of investments in inland water transport (IWT) in Sierra Leone. He has come in here. He wants to run ferries between CMS and Ikorodu and also between CMS and Mile 2. You know, there are a lot of Lagosians who come from FESTAC and beyond into Lagos for work every day, and coming by road is a lot of headache.So, but if they can get transportation by water from Mile 2 straight to CMS, that will help them a lot. They can find somewhere they will park their vehicles, enter the ferry and then come to Lagos in 15, 20 minutes. Then, there is another company that wants to run between CMS and Tema in Ghana. From this jetty here, they want to move passengers and goods to Tema, West Coast,’’ he said.
He also revealed that another company based in the United Kingdom, would bring in boats to operate the same services covering additional routes.
He said that the high interest displayed by foreign investors in Nigeria’s inland water transport system could be linked to a conference which NIWA organised in 2014 to sell the idea of private investments.
“The potential of water transportation in Nigeria and government’s encouragement of private investments in a friendly environment must have helped in attracting people,” he said.