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Life Hacks With Toby: 10 Reasons Why Lagosians Should Consider the AquaTransport Alternative



Pic 1I used to be aqua phobic. Maybe not like oyibo people, but I used to run away from anything that will make me enter a body of water. That was why my first swimming experience was a big deal.

I vividly remember how scared I always got each time we crossed the Niger Bridge at Onitsha when I was much younger. I imagined all kinds of things, starting with the possibility of the bridge collapsing while we were on top of it.  Those thoughts gave me the chills all the time.

You can now understand how horrified I was of ever entering a boat and going across a river.

One day however, I decided to take the risk of having a boat ride and damn the consequences. It wasn’t a very easy decision, but I refused to allow any fear hold me back from living what I call ‘My Best Life’.

On the pre-determined day, I was on my way to Apapa to see some clients. But instead of taking the normal Mile 2 – Apapa bus as I normally do, I took a bus to Marina. On getting to Marina, I went for my first boat ride. It was an exhilarating experience and my excitement was impossible to hide.

Maybe you are like I was. Let’s say in your own case, you don’t have ‘boat-phobia’ or ‘aqua-phobia’ as the case may be. But you probably have ‘business-start-up-phobia’, finally-proposing-to-the-girl-you-love-phobia’, or taking-an-additional-course-to-advance-your-career-phobia’.

I hope this post will convince you to face your fears, overcome them, and live your best life.

Seriously though, if you are living in Lagos or any other place with a large body of water, then you should consider ferrying as a medium of preferred transport to work from time to time.

If you are still undecided, then here are 10 points to help you decide:

Lagos TrafficIt helps you beat traffic 
Ghen Ghen! If you don’t know the meaning of the word ‘traffic’, I can ‘categorically’ put it to you without any consultation from any ‘oga at the top’ that you have never been to Lagos, Abuja, or Porthacourt.

Traffic can simply be defined as that situation, “When you need to go from Apapa to Oshodi, which normally should not take more than 15 minutes, but it now takes you two solid hours with enough sweat and fumes from petrol carrying tankers”.

Okay, enough of playing around. But if you live in a place like Bayelsa state, Rivers, or even our dear Lagos state, and you are constantly faced with traffic, then please consider taking ferry rides.

If you use a ferry, the cost is almost the same as that of buses and cars.
Note that I didn’t say boat in this case o. Taking a boat ride is more expensive. Let’s just say that ferry is to entering Danfo what Boat is to chartering a taxi.

You will arrive your destination faster than someone on the road.
I won’t dwell much here. But if you put the first point into consideration it will make perfect sense. I mean, I have never seen traffic on a water body before. Or have you?

The spaces are not as crowded as the regular Danfo and Molue buses.
If you are like me, and you are averse to having people rub their sweaty bodies on you just because you are on transit, then use ferries. I mean, I love having social interactions, especially if it has to do with business networking. But this one is a different ball game.

I don’t know who designed those Lagos buses where 5 people are made to sit on one seat. It’s well with that person shaa.

Personally, I love having my own space. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to be taking taxi all the time. And I have not bought a car yet, neither has anyone agreed to ‘sow car seed’ into my life. Anyway, thank God for ferries. I get to have my space without paying much. Problem solved!

You still have the chance of buying your regular gbogbonise drugspic 3 for point 5 If you think you are going to escape buying gbogbonise and all those other drug peddlers, think again. Omoh, the hustle is tight, and everybody wan hammer. So don’t be surprised when you see drug peddlers inside your ferry. Best option? Get an earpiece handy.

You will escape the fumes from Apapa trailers
I love Apapa. Apapa has a lot of wealthy clients, and I love having wealthy clients. But I hate going to Apapa. Apart from the traffic, the fumes from trailers and tankers is something else.

May Baba God bless me with a car soon. Amen!

Imagine staying on a spot for 10 minutes under the hot sun. and just when you are about to move, a very long trailer will make one hissing sound like that tssssssssssssssss, and release some dangerous fumes into your bus.

Chei, the experience is horrible.

To avoid all that, take the water route.

pic 4 for point 7You get to enjoy the cool breeze from the water
Just thinking about this is already making me smile. Awww! Make sure you sit near the window for a better experience.

It offers a sight-seeing opportunity
I know you have seen all the tall buildings in Marina. But have you gotten the ocean view? It is beautiful.

You experience the miracle of having a polite and courteous driver/conductor
This point may not make sense to you if you have your own car. But if you don’t have a car yet, then you know what it feels like to get insulted by a conductor at least once in a while.

The day I went for my first ferry ride, I was shocked at the way we were ushered in, and the way we were spoken to. I was like is this still Lagos, or have I entered another country?

pic 6 for 10th pointIt is Fun
Just for the sake of adventure, try it. Remember that life is meant to be lived and not existed in. So, let loose, live life, and from time to time, have fun!

Your Turn
What phobia have you overcome recently? Which phobia is hindering you from living your best life? What can you do about it this month? Have you taken a boat ride before? What was your experience like? Do you work in Apapa? How do you cope with the fumes? Finally, for those living in big cities, how you dey manage the traffic?

NB: Boats in this context refer to boats, ships, ferries, canoes and all other means of transport that float on water.

Photo Credit: | Nsoedo Frank | Other images provided by the writer

Toby Nwazor is a free lance writer and motivational speaker who believes that life is meant to be lived and not just existed in. He is equally an entrepreneur with a lot of hands-on experience in business start-ups, marketing, and customer service. He passionately writes every Monday and Wednesday on about helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs build successful start-ups


  1. Toby Nwazor

    April 8, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Good morning BN family.
    Please if you are a good writer (read professional writer) and you can write mainly business related and personal development articles, kindly send me a mail on [email protected].
    My company needs an extra writer. Location and credentials don’t matter. Most important qualification? You are good, you learn fast, and you can deliver on time.

    • Laraba

      April 8, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Hahahahaha, I love love reading your posts Toby. Very interesting, witty and a lot to learn.

      I remember when they were fixing the Ozumba Mbadiwe road and the traffic was nasty, we had to go on the ferry from Osborne to VI and it was really fast.

      I know some people who live in ikoyi and work in VI, they take their boats to work and their drivers come and meet them later in the office.

      We really should explore the water transportation more in Lagos.

    • Toby Nwazor

      April 8, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Laraba. I love that concept of going to work by boat and getting picked up by your driver later on. Makes sense

    • ifeanyi

      April 9, 2016 at 8:08 am

      I think Feyi Fawehinmi is the guy you are looking for

      His ideas are practical and thought-provoking.
      His writings are easy to follow and understand!

      Please, read most of his posts.

  2. Funms

    April 8, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Hi Tony

    Your writing style is amiable and I enjoyed reading this piece. The fear of water bodies (even swimming pools) will not allow me to attempt water transportation o. I will manage my traffic abeg! Lol

    • Toby Nwazor

      April 8, 2016 at 11:59 pm

      lol. Not even swimming pool?

  3. Agbons

    April 8, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Welcome to my world.
    I go to work by boat (not the ferry though) each day.
    You forgot to add some points.
    Always keep your mouth shut if you are by an open window. You don’t want to experience the taste of the water. Dealing with the stench is hard enough.
    Keep your valuables in your bag when embarking or disembarking. If water swallow am when e fall, OYO is your case.
    Pray hard because you don’t want to know what it feels like to wait in the middle of the water when the boat or ferry suddenly decides it won’t move again.
    But I think the advantages of water transportation outnumber the disadvantages.

  4. Niyoola

    April 8, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Water transport in Lagos is the necessary mass transit we need. Ikorodu to lekki takes about 20 mins, CMS to Apapa is 10mins….. it’s just a stone throw away. Iya Oworo to Ikoyi 10 mins. Amazing.

    The problem is that we don’t have proper search/rescue, HSE etc.
    I remember someone called into a LASG owned radio station a couple of years ago.
    They were discussing water transport and the benefits.

    The man had boarded (boat or ferry, I can’t remember which) @ ikorodu, headed to VI at 7 am.
    About 5 mins into the journey, the boat/ferry developed a fault. The couldn’t radio for help (the ferry/boat’s radio was bad‎) an there was no mobile phone network. 
    They started drifting! They spent 7 hours on the lagoon. Yup, 7 hours. They had drifted to God knows where. They were scared, hungry, tired etc.

    They were found by a search party that had been combing the lagoon for more than 3 hours. Those guys were close to giving up and declaring them capsized/dead.

    Water transport is not yet properly organized. Even road and air transport which we’ve been doing for plenty years are not yet well regulated. I will now carry my leg and enter ferry/boat. Mba.

    We shall be shifting together, small small on 3MB.‎

    • nunulicious

      April 8, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      @Niyoola. Like you said, that was years ago. I had a different experience, matter of fact I could hardly believe I was in Lagos Nigeria!

      I know that the lagos state government is actively tackling issues of safety in the water ways but you know our people are poor and imagine banning poor baba saki from using his boat engine for transportation. It’s all about timing, when was the last time you saw a molue? most have been replaced by BRT’s (lol).
      I know I am biased but I’m desperate about good news in this country. we’re not perfect but everyday we are getting better. must get better. I demand it.

    • Toby Nwazor

      April 8, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      hahahahahaha @ carry your leg enter boat. I understand jare. If na me dey inside boat wey just dey drift, it wouldn’t have been funny o. Because, I am not sure I totally overcame that aquaphobia o. So staying for long on a body of water with the possibility of death, it would have been a terrible experience jare

  5. xaai

    April 8, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Great writeup! I conquered my fear of heights recently and boy am I glad!!! Whenever I climb the pedestrian overhead bridge,I shake,cry and have crazy thoughts running through my head.I always find someone to hold me across with my eyes shut! It was that bad .Am glad to be free of it.I faced my fear and I won!!!!!
    I will consider water transport..soon.

    • Toby Nwazor

      April 8, 2016 at 11:56 pm

      OMG? Are you exaggerating? I imagined all you said, and it was both funny and pitiable. I am glad you conquered it o, really


    April 8, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    I enjoyed reading this Toby.

  7. ikd

    April 8, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    I live in ikorodu and work on the island. I take the boat everyday and it’s the best decision I made. a lot still has to be done in this sector, but believe me, it’s worth it.

    • Toby Nwazor

      April 8, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      From Ikorodu to the island. Pretty far. I once lived in Ikorodu. Wasn’t funny o. Took me about two hours to go from Ikorodu to my office which was in Ilupeju back then

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