The Nigerian national team, Super Eagles, has commenced training ahead of their weekend Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match against Benin Republic football team, the Squirrels, after traveling through the waterways from Lagos to Cotonou.
On arrival at Cotonou, the team members, who were transported by Lagos State Government from the Five Cowries Terminal, Falomo-Ikoyi, proceeded on a light walkout to complete their preparation for the encounter to determine their participation in 2021 AFCON tournament scheduled to hold in Cameroon.
Addressing newsmen after coordinating the team movement on Friday, Managing Director, Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) Abdoulbaq Balogun, expressed delight that the team was being conveyed through the waterways which had been made safer by the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Balogun added that the ease in Super Eagles movement was a testimony to the huge investment made by the present administration to make water transportation desirable and a viable alternative to road.
“Its a good one for our brand and a good one for Lagos state. We are excited to take super eagles for their international match in far away Benin Republic; this is the first time it’s going to happen that they are going by water and we are glad to be part of history”
Balogun explained that Lagos State is trying all its best to boost water transportation and promote tourism saying the eyes of all Nigerians and the world are here showing them the potentials of water transportation and water tourism in Lagos State.
“Mr. Governor, since inception has shown much passion to developing the water transportation system in Lagos State. As a megacity we can not afford to travel on the road alone, we have to seek other ways of diversifying the mode of transportation and waterway is readily available and a huge investment is being made by the present administration and that is what we are demonstrating to the Super Eagles, to Nigeria, and to the entire world today”.
He assured that adequate security has been put in place to ensure a safe journey, faster and reliable. With the adequate presence of Marine Police, CTU, and Naval Personnel going with us on escorts with the players and the officers.
He disclosed further that the choice of LAGFERRY was predicated on its state of the art boats that are fully equipped with modern technology like free wifi, onboard entertainment, its enviable safety records, being able to be monitored real-time to ensure passenger safety, and having experienced and regularly trained captains and deckhands.
“All our Passengers are insured and we adhere strictly to all safety regulations of compulsory wearing of life jackets by all passengers before boarding and operating within the stipulated time, among other things” he stated
Speaking shortly after their arrival at Porto Novo, Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi, expressed delight at their journey on the waterways describing it as a and good trip.
It would be recalled that the governor, Sanwo-Olu, had charged the team to victory against their opponent and also redeemed the gift promised to a Football Gold Medalist in Atlanta 96, Patrick Pascal, by giving him a new three-bedroom apartment in the 360 units Prince Abiodun Ogunleye Housing Estate in Igbogbo, Ikorodu.