By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
In furtherance of its determination to ensure a viable and sustainable transportation system, Ogun State Government is collaborating with the United Kingdom on the development of transport policy and capacity building.
Commissioner for Transportation, Engr. Gbenga Dairo, made this known while speaking at a United Kingdom funded general stakeholders’ workshop, organised by the Ministry of Transportation, in collaboration with Future City Nigeria, held in Abeokuta.
He said the workshop was to intimate key players in the transportation sector on the proposed recommendations for the improvement of public transportation.
Engr. Dairo explained that, the training would enable stakeholders make inputs that would shape the future of the transportation system in the State, as many of the principles discussed would be applicable to other cities and urban centres.
He noted that the government’s commitment to this innovation informed the team’s decision to choose the State capital, as one of the cities to influence the development of transportation.
He reaffirmed government’s concerted efforts at making Abeokuta, as well as other towns and cities in the State, attractive for people to ‘’live, work and play’’.
Remarking, the State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe said, ‘’ developing and implementing a transport policy in Abeokuta will bring about improved transportation and also facilitate increased local and foreign investments. It would boost commercial activities, given the consequent lower cost of transportation incurred in the production and marketing of goods and services produced in the city.
“The transport policy is in line with the vision of Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration. When ready, the policy will bring about more investments into Abeokuta. It will help reduce cost and travel time which would aid business activities and also ensure that man–hour which can be used for production are not wasted. This will in turn have favorable impact on production and marketing. This is one of the considerations investors look at when making their decisions on where to locate industries”, she submitted.
In his contribution, the leader, Future City Nigeria, Abeokuta, Dr. George Banjo, said the intervention programme was part of the United Kingdom Global Future Cities Programmes, involving implementation of targeted interventions in major cities around the world, to encourage sustainable development, increase prosperity and alleviate high levels of urban poverty, with specific focus in a sustainable public transport service in Abeokuta, which could be applied to other urban areas of the State.
He added that the Workshop was one in a series of consultative activities, geared towards identifying specific actions, project and initiatives to be implemented in urban and rural areas of the State in the years ahead, as well as, form basis for attracting and securing domestic and international funding, including Public Private Partnership arrangement for various key projects and initiatives.
‘’The transport policy will be centered on protecting the interest of commuters and ensure cost-friendliness as well as place commuters’ safety as paramount,” he said.