Stakeholders laud SIFAX over intervention in ferry services …Say move will check quackery, carnage on waterways
One of the new ferries deployed by the SIFAX Group
BY FRANCIS EZEM
Stakeholders in the nation’s water transport industry, especially commuters have commended the SIFAX Group over its recent intervention in the provision of inland water transport services, currently dominated by quacks, saying this move will over time eliminate the quacks and check high incidences of boat mishap on the nation’s inland waters with high casualty figures.
SIFAX Group, a multinational corporation with diverse interests in Maritime, Aviation, Haulage & Logistics, Oil & Gas and Hospitality, had recently commenced ferry service operations from its newly-concessioned terminal located at Ebute Ojo Jetty, in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State.
Business and Transport Online, spoke with some passengers at the new Ebute Ojo Jetty Terminal, who expressed excitement at the intervention of the Group, and therefore challenged other big firms that have the wherewithal in providing effective and safe water transport services to emulate the pace set by SIFAX, especially on other routes in Lagos and across all the coastal states in the country.
The commuters also argued that in addition to reducing carnage on the waterways, the new operation would also save commuters the hassles they face daily while commuting from the Mile-2 area to Apapa, given the poor state of the roads with the attendant gridlocks.
They however urged the company to increase its fleet without delay in order to take care of the expected surge in passenger traffic.
The Group says that already, two 30-passenger capacity ultra-modern boats have been deployed for these operations.
According to Captain Olugbade Ibrahim, Managing Consultant to SIFAX Ferry Terminal, Ojo, the desire to increase transport options for commuters and to support the efforts of the Lagos State government to develop the state’s water transport industry, accounted for the new venture.
“We are conscious of adding value and bring new innovations to the waterway business. Our business goals and objectives are well aligned with that of the Lagos State Government in the massive development of the waterways. This has prompted us to acquire these two ferries, which we are starting with, as we have plans to increase the number soon. The ferries we use are the same with what is obtainable in advanced countries. It is safe, fast, convenient, spacious, durable and manned by experts with tested experience. Our onboard safety procedure is excellent.
“The ferry service alongside other facilities at the terminal would provide passengers excellent customer service experience, which is the hallmark of the SIFAX Group brand”, he had said.
It was gathered that the two boats that service the Ebute-Ojo ferry terminal to Apapa and Mile 2 have 500 horse power engines each, which is in line with the company’s safety consciousness, which also informed its decision to acquire the best brand of life jackets too.
The company has also guaranteed inflight entertainment for its customers on board, even as it has excellent customer service personnel to also attend to customer’s complaints and suggestions too. The Group hopes to increase its ferry fleet in no time and open up more routes across Lagos waterways, which promising to make the service first class, even as the terminal complex will be equipped with Wi-Fi internet service, eateries and also banks, among other ancillary said.
Meanwhile, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group Mr John Jenkins, while speaking on the new intervention, said the company’s massive investment in the water transportation is part of the overall strategic plan of SIFAX Group to deepen its commitment in the country’s transport sector, thereby, providing more jobs, solving a social problem, supporting government’s initiative and helping grow the country’s economy.
The ferry service operates on Ebute Ojo-Apapa(Liverpool) and Mile 2 (Capital Oil Jetty)- Apapa routes from 7am to 7pm every day while charter services are also available daily for private individuals and fun seekers who want to explore the Lagos water fronts.