By Abayomi Adeshida
The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mr. Abdulsalam Mohammed has praised the collaborative efforts between the Lagos State Government and a Singapore_based firm, Penguin Ferry Services Pte Ltd, in exploring the Nigerian market to supply ferries to ship operators.
Mohammed stated these while speaking at the offices of the firm during a trade and investments visit a Federal Government delegation paid the firm in Singapore.
In his few remarks at a meeting between the delegation and the top management of the firm, Mohammed affirmed that the Federal Government would play its role to contribute everything that is required to facilitate the union.
In his words, “this would go a long way to ease the tension at our ports as well as contribute to the transportation problems faced by the people in riverine parts of Lagos in particular and in the country in general.
“All of us on this delegation were encouraged when you mentioned the efforts the Lagos State Government made in holding discussions with you in the area of water transportation in the State. We believe that as soon as the solution to water transportation gets to Lagos, all other parts of the country with similar changes woulkd take a cue and before too long, we shall overcome all the problems,” Mohammed stated.
He expressed appreciation for the time given by the management of the company to receive the Nigerian delegation, and said the purpose of the visit was to learn from the experiencies of your company, to appreciate the successes you have recorded and see what Nigeria would gain from the visit.
Speaking while welcoming the delegation, Managing Director, Penguin International Ltd, Mr James Tham said the company had met the Lagos State Government which indicated its willingness to improve its ferry services.
“We carried out a study and found out that waterways in Nigeria were grossly underutilised.
Ferry services would alleviate the problem of road traffic bottlenecks in the Lagos and we believe that this model can also work in your coastal cities.
Tham informed members of the delegatoin that the company had been into passenger ferry services since 1972, adding that it started as a ferry service company to bunkering, offshore supply before its very recent venture into ship building.
He said the ferries built by his company could accommodate between 100 and 200 passengers on board and had all the necesary facilities of a mordern day ferry.
“We looked forward to a time in future when we can establish a ship building yard in Dubai and an assembly plant in Nigeria,” he said as he conducted the delegates were round HarbourFront Terminal operated by the company.