The UK government on Friday says it has introduced a hovercraft as part of its efforts to enhance the waterways transportation system of the Lagos State government.
The British Deputy High Commission Office in Nigeria made this known in a statement made available in Lagos.
It said that a hovercraft could improve the climate resilience of Lagos state, contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic development in the city.
” Recognising the urgency to tackle climate change, 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 today.
” The hovercraft is an amphibious boat-like vehicle that travels over water, sand and grass, it said.
According to the statement, 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.
It said that an enhanced and reliable water transport system would 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, “it said.
The British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, after the sea trial said : “The UK Government is keen to assist the Lagos State Government in the area of water transportation, and urban development.
Llewellyn-Jones said that Griffon Hoverwork, a leading manufacturer of hovercrafts had 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 is 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 ,” he said.
The General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (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.
Emmanuel said the Lagos waterways was a key resource to the state and it would continue to work with the UK Government to make water transportation a viable, reliable and alternative means of transport for the people of Lagos.
He said that in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and the Nigerian Navy, the UK had used medical hovercrafts to reach the remote areas of Delta in South-South Nigeria and the North East, providing healthcare to underserved communities.