Recognising the urgency to tackle climate change by quickly reducing Carbon Dioxide emissions, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones and the General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, have witnessed the sea trial of a Hovercraft, an amphibious boat-like vehicle that travels over water, sand and grass.
Griffon Hoverwork, a UK hovercraft design and manufacturing Company, carried out the demonstration today in Lagos, as part of the UK Government’s effort to enhance the waterways transportation system of the Lagos State Government.
A hovercraft can improve the climate resilience of Lagos state, contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic development in the city.
An enhanced and reliable water transport system will also reduce congestion on the roads, promote economic growth, and improve competition in the business environment as well as the overall operations in the State. It will reduce travel time, improving connectivity between communities and hence provide access to critical services such as healthcare, education and employment.
The UK Government through its Future Cities Nigeria Programme, have been providing technical assistance to the Lagos State Government to enhance its water transport system, which will in turn improve the climate resilience of Lagos state, by offering a viable alternative to road transport, and provide an improved transport option for Lagos residents and visitors.
Speaking after the sea trial, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, British Deputy High Commissioner said: “The UK Government is keen to assist the Lagos State Government in the area of water transportation, and urban development. Griffon Hoverwork, a leading manufacturer of hovercrafts has displayed the capabilities of a hovercraft as a means of reducing carbon emissions & road congestion and supporting growth in the water transport sector.
“Lagos is Africa’s largest city with lots of capacity, but relies excessively on road vehicles for transport, leading to long and expensive commutes and traffic delays.
“Through our Future Cities Nigeria programme, we are working with LASWA to develop water transport routes that reduce road traffic congestion, provide safer, cleaner, reduced cost transport and reduce CO2 emissions.
It’s great to see these plans start to become reality through this trial of a hovercraft on the Lagos waterways.
“This demonstrates the range of opportunities and potential for UK and other international businesses in this sector to benefit from the new transport routes.”
On his part, the General Manager, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), said: “The UK’s Global Future Cities Programme with the Lagos State Government is helping to expand the state’s waterways transport and improve the environment.
“Lagos waterways is a key resource to the state and we will continue to work with the UK Government to make water transportation a viable, reliable and alternative means of transport for the people of Lagos.”
In collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Nigerian Navy, the UK have used medical hovercrafts to reach the remote areas of Delta in South-South Nigeria and the North East, providing healthcare to underserved communities.
L-R: General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel and the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones and Marketing & Sales Director, Griffon Hoverwork, Nicolas MacLeod-Ash, at Badore, Ajah Jetty, during the Sea trial, in Lagos today.