Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has given orders to Nigerian Railway Coporation to stop commuters hanging or sitting on trains.According to him ‘ the government has the responsibility of protecting the lives of her citizens’.
Amaechi said this today at the first Lagos Traffic Radio Lecture Series held in Lagos themed, ‘Migration Workforce:The Challenges Of Mass Transportation’.In his speech at the event, the minister noted that the process of migrating workforce and people who commute from one location, area, state to another for the purpose of engaging in employment is still very difficult in the country, as the present government is making frantic effort to make transportation easy in the country.
According to him, “As families migrate due to employment purposes, they are compelled to move with children who require transportation to attend schools. Where transportation is lacking, the level of distress for the working parents and children becomes increased.”
Amaechi noted that as far as mass transportation is concerned, there is evidence to show that inadequacy in transport infrastructure and services has contributed significantly to the prevalence of poverty across various Nigerian communities in both urban and rural areas.
The minster explained that the problems of Nigerian transport system have varied across various sub-sectors including air, water, rail and road transport.
He urged Lagos State government to make its policy on water transportation known to the Federal Government before it considers numerous proposals from the private sector operators.
The minister also said the Lagos –Ibadan railway line which is part of the Lagos- Kano railway line will be completed with two and half years, saying the Lagos –Port Harcourt Calabar railway line will be ready within two and half years after commencement, which will enable people to live in neighbouring state closer to Lagos, while working in Lagos.
Another speaker at the event was the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Dayo Mobereola who gave a paper on‘Exploring Transportation Beyond Roads’. Mobereola in his speech said strategic transport master plan conceived by Lagos State Government is to address the various issues within the sector proposes to push the share of rail transportation to 21 percent adding that the last three years efforts have been directed at establishing a bus route network that will service the state.
According to him, Lagos needs 450 bus routes 20, 000 buses to service 10 million passenger trips happening daily.
The Commissioner, while explaining the strategic Transport Master Plan said the aim was to develop a fully integrated mass rapid transit system to cover the activity centers within the megacity region before 2032.
He said six rail lines, 1 mono rail line 14 BRT routes, 3 cable car projects and over 20 water routes are to be developed with implementation strategies being traffic management, ensuring an efficient public transport and transport integration.
Mobereola, further stressed the benefit of the plan to include carbon emission reduction of 8 million tons per annum, also noted that 80% of transport journeys (less than 25km) will be completed within 60 minutes when plan comes fully on stream before 2032.