Ogun State government said it has put in place, a holistic transportation system that will help address the problem of rural-urban migration among other issues.
The state Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Gbenga Dairo, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the newly introduced Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) bus scheme, explained that the transportation plan, which was developed in collaboration with the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (UKFCDO) and eggheads at the Olabisi Onabanjo University has been adopted by the state and is already being implemented in stages.
Dairo said the target of the ministry is to deliver affordable, safe, accessible and a sustainable transportation system that will take care of all parts of the state be they rural or urban.
He confirmed that the ministry, which earlier commenced the Pilot CNG fueled bus scheme with the Adatan – Ita Osin route, has now extended the services to the Mowe-Ibafo-Berger route towards mitigating the increasing costs of transportation experienced by commuters.
He also explained that the pilot scheme is amongst other objectives designed to test the cohabitation of formal and informal transportation systems in the state starting with Abeokuta, the state capital, as a case study.
“The transportation scheme will spread to other parts of the state in the coming months as there are plans to roll out more of such bus services.
“We are working hard to put all the needed infrastructure in place. All forms of infrastructure, be it key infrastructure or operating infrastructure like management, regulations, funding are all important to us and we are working to put them in place.
“A lot of patience and cooperation are required as it will take time, good planning and commitment to get to our dream destination as far as transportation is concerned in Ogun State.
“There are many issues to address. Issues like parking, route system, agencies, etc are key to the success of the transportation plan. We are working on all these with a lot of commitment,” he said.
According to Dairo, Ogun State is different from Lagos State in terms of transportation because in many ways.
“Our state is largely rural. Also, Ogun is not as populated as Lagos and there are far more smaller towns and villages to consider when developing a transportation plan.
“We also have to consider the many corridor locations that we have in Ogun State. Locations like Mowe, Ibafo, etc, as well as the many Lagos border locations that include Ota, Ojodu-Abiodun, Ogijo, etc, when planning a transport system.
“We already have a partnership with UKFCDO funded consultants on the introduction of a transport authority.
Though Investments in transport can be expensive, the sector also generates revenue. As such, we should be able to recover 70% of investment in good time. We also have plans for a Transport Fund to further make the actualisation of our plans easy,” he said.
Dairo also spoke on government’s plan for other forms of transportation in the state.
“Similarly, rail transport development is key to us because of its many advantages. We have revisited the Lagos/Ogun Joint Development Commission where certain agreements were entered into concerning rail and land transport that will link both states.
“We are working on that with Lagos to extend the red line railway into ijoko, Ifo, Kajola, Papalanto. I can confirm to you that the Governor is very interested in this.
“Also, there are investors who want to connect our Agro Cargo Airport to Lagos State by rail. Talks are equally ongoing on this. We are working on Bus plans for all cities with consideration for the characteristics, size and the purchasing power of the people in our diverse communities.
“We are fine tuning our Inter city transportation schemes too. High capacity buses and alternative fuels are further being discussed,” he added.