A United Kingdom (U.K.) firm, Griffon Hoverwork, carried out a trial of hovercraft on Lagos waterways at the weekend. Hovercraft is an amphibious boat-like vehicle that travels over water, sand and on grasses.
The U.K. hovercraft design and manufacturing company, Griffon Hoverwork, carried out the demonstration in a move that 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 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, improve connectivity between communities and hence provide access to critical services such as healthcare, education and employment.
Meanwhile, the U.K. government through its Future Cities Nigeria Programme, have been providing technical assistance to the state government to enhance its water transport system, which will in turn improve the climate resilience of the state, by offering a viable alternative to road transport, and provide an improved transport option for Lagos residents and visitors.
Speaking at the occasion, British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones said the U.K. government is keen to assist the Lagos State government in the area of water transportation, and urban development.
He noted that Griffon Hoverwork, a leading manufacturer of hovercrafts has displayed the capabilities of a hovercraft as a means of reducing carbon emissions and 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,” Llewellyn-Jones said.
General Manager, LASWA, Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, 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,” Emmanuel said.
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 Southsouth Nigeria and the Northeast, providing healthcare to underserved communities.