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Nigeria-Ghana ferry service to commence soon

By on March 4, 2015

Transport of passengers and goods between Nigeria and Ghana through the Atlantic Ocean is expected to commence soon.

The Lagos Office Area Manager of the National Inland Waterways Authority, Mr. Mu’azu Sambo, told our correspondent in an exclusive interview that the ferry service between Lagos and Tema in Ghana would take off from the CMS jetty in Lagos. Presently, NIWA owns about seven jetties in Lagos State.

Sambo said the planned service was as the result of a Public-Private Partnership agreement between NIWA and a private investor.

He said, “We are in the process of finalising the agreement with the promoter. As soon as the agreement is finalised, work will commence at our own end of the terminal. As of now, the promoter has indicated interest in providing this service only from our jetty at CMS, perhaps based on the result of a feasibility study.

“The promoter will also upgrade the jetty and construct a ramp that will enable the easy embankment and dismemberment of passengers and goods.”

Sambo added that NIWA’s workshop at the jetty, which had not been operational for a while due to lack of interest from members of the public, would be converted to accommodate officials of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Immigration Service and other relevant agencies.

He said the promoter had also indicated interest in the possibility of transporting goods along the dredged River Niger channel.

“This is an international movement; so, we have to involve the relevant government agencies. NIWA will only provide the infrastructure, which is already in place, while the investor will fund the entire project.

Sambo had in a recent report said that some local and foreign investors had indicated interest to offer ferry services within Lagos.

He said NIWA had recently granted approval for an investor from Sierra Leone to run ferries between CMS and Ikorodu, and also between CMS and Mile 2. The investor is expected to bring in nine boats.

He had linked the high interest displayed by foreign investors in Nigeria’s inland water transport system to a conference organised by NIWA in 2014 to sell the idea of private investments.

Sambo said, “The potential of water transport in Nigeria and government’s encouragement of private investments in a friendly environment must have helped the foreign investors. There are a lot of Lagos residents, who come from FESTAC and beyond into Lagos for work daily; for them, transport by road is a lot of headache.

“However, if water transport is readily available from Mile 2 straight to CMS, that will help them a lot. They can find somewhere to park their vehicles, board the ferry and then come to Lagos in 15, 20 minutes.”