• Gokada and Lagos Boats launch GBoat to exploits goldmine on Lagos Waterways
  • The Gokada - Lagos Boats deal that could change the face of transportation in Lagos.
  • I took a ride on GBoat from Pavillion Jetty in Lekki to Paradise Jetty to have a feel of the waterways transportation experience.

Every day, Lagos residents face a transportation problem that either makes them late to office, miss great business opportunities or get to work already stressed out. This mostly affects residents plying roads to the Island from Mainland every day.

Commuters struggling at Bus at Lekki Bus Stop (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)
Commuters struggling at Bus at Lekki Bus Stop (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)

To ameliorate this problem, Gokada has partnered with Lagos Boats to launch GBoat – a ferry transport service in one of Nigeria's lucrative natural resources, Lagos waterways.

When I checked the GBoat website on Wednesday night, boats were scheduled to run via Lekki Pavilion Jetty through Admiralty waterways in Lekki to Victoria Island - Paradise Jetty on the Walter Carrington Crescent close to Onikan, Lagos Island.

The other service will run via Ikoyi five Cowries Creek Terminal through Falomo Roundabout, Ikoyi to VI and Lekki.

ALSO READ: Ayodeji Adewunmi, Co-CEO sees Gokada as the future of transportation with different asset verticals and services verticals

On Thursday I took a GBoat ride from Pavilion Jetty in Lekki to Paradise Jetty at Walter Carrington on the Island and, as expected, the experience was totally different from my usual road travel. This is the kind of experience that comes with fresh air not mixed with pollution (a silent environmental killer) and is totally unaffected my Lagos’ traffic congestion.

GBoat on Lagos waterways
GBoat on Lagos waterways

The innocent looking Pavilion Jetty

A signpost at the entrance of Pavillion Jetty, Admiralty Way, Lekki (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)
A signpost at the entrance of Pavillion Jetty, Admiralty Way, Lekki (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)

On Thursday morning, I arrived at the Pavilion Jetty off Admiralty Way at exactly 7 AM and almost missed the GBoat ride. Earlier, I had booked tickets via their online platform.

The boat took off about 7:03 AM going through the Tarzan Jetty behind Oriental Hotel down to Ikoyi Five Cowries Creek Terminal at Falomo before arriving at its final destination -- Paradise Jetty on the Walter Carrington Crescent at 7:12 AM. Without traffic congestion, it is a 17 mins/ 6.1km route by car on the Ozumba road.

Ikoyi Five Cowries Creek Terminal at Falomo  (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)
Ikoyi Five Cowries Creek Terminal at Falomo (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)
Aderemi Ojekunle and other passengers on board GBoat, Thursday, June 13, 2019 (Pulse/Aderemi OJekunle)
Aderemi Ojekunle and other passengers on board GBoat, Thursday, June 13, 2019 (Pulse/Aderemi OJekunle)

Clean boat, cool views and comfortability at class

During the trip, I assessed the boat and noticed they were neat and well-kept, the seats are comfortable for commuters. However, I think it’ll help steady some nerves if there’s cool music on board.

Inner view of one of the GBoat (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)
Inner view of one of the GBoat (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)
Other private boats at the Paradise Jetty, Victoria Island
Other private boats at the Paradise Jetty, Victoria Island

The agreement between to form GBoat is a win-win. Gokada provides the customer base while we work on the logistics,” Gossy Ukanwoke, founder of Lagos Boats tells me during the trip.

“We are just launching and as demand increases, we will launch new routes - extending to other areas such as Ikorodu, Ijede, Lagos Island and Apapa.”

Gossy says the company is hoping to move tens of thousands of workers and professionals every morning.

The Gokada - Lagos Boats deal that could be the future of transportation in Lagos

While Gokada is counting on its massive customer base and its tech platform, Lagos Boats will provide logistics and controls the ride activities.

GBoat kick-off operation in Lagos
GBoat kick-off operation in Lagos

This service will allow customers to take a bike from their home, get on the board and take another bike at the jetty to their offices without stress.

A few things worth pointing out

  • Gokada and Lagos Boats need to onboard the boat service unto an app.
  • There are difficulties in making payment via the web portal and Gokada needs to pay attention to this.
Screenshot of ride receipt from GBoat
Screenshot of ride receipt from GBoat
  • There were no signposts at both boat stops - Pavilion Jetty and Paradise Jetty -- so it’s difficult to identify GBoat officials from other private jetty operators.
  • The boat was clean and the ride was smooth – commendable.
Entrance at Paradise Jetty, Walter Carrington, VI (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)
Entrance at Paradise Jetty, Walter Carrington, VI (Pulse/Aderemi Ojekunle)
  • Gokada and Lagos Boats can introduce onsite sales of tickets for commuters, bringing the semi-illiterate and illiterate populace on board.