The Minister of Transportion, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has stated that Oyo State Government must prepare in order not to ‘inherit’ the traffic congestion that characterizes the Apapa expressway in Lagos after the completion of the ongoing light rail project and the inland dry port in Ibadan.
Amaechi, who was accompanied by the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Shippers Council(NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, sounded the note of warning at the Governor’s office, Agodi, Ibadan, during the exchange of letters and documentations on the land donated by the Oyo State Government for the proposed Ibadan inland dry port.
“Let me quickly add that the Lagos-Ibadan light rail project, on completion will ease the Apapa expressway gridlock in Lagos and my fear is that I don’t know if Oyo State government is ready for the shift of the gridlock to this axis of Ibadan.
“Containers and imported goods will now be transported to Ibadan and the rest of the country through the light rail and this will aggravate commercial activities at the inland dry port end until there is continuation of the rail project towards the Ibadan-Kano corridor.
“So, I suggest that the incumbent and the incoming governor work together and open up roads around the Ibadan inland dry port to avoid a transfer of the stress of Apapa expressway to Ibadan,” he said.
The Minister appreciated Governor Ajimobi for making the dream of Ibadan inland dry port become a reality by providing the necessary logistics and also congratulated him for leaving behind legacy of laudable projects after completing his two-term tenure.
“You are concluding your second term administration with a very strong note of performance and unequal pacesetting. Not all governors finished this way.
“Most of your detractors even acknowledged the fact that you have done so much in infrastructural facilities and other areas where you have touched lives.
“History will judge you well. For me, I don’t think of what people talk about me. I only care about how I do what I do. You have journeyed well and I congratulate you and your family for your success,” Amaechi stated.
Responding, Governor Ajimobi, stated that instead of experiencing the kind of Apapa expressway traffic gridlock, Ibadan would rather experience a gridlock of progress and immense growth of commerce.
The governor maintained that the inland dry port project would improve the economic growth, create job opportunities and improve the standard of living of Oyo State people in general.
“The rail project and in extension, the Ibadan inland dry port, for which we are here to do an exchange of letters and documentations today will go a long way to improve the economy and propel personal growth of people and businesses in our state.
“We are happy this is happening in our time, we are part of this history and we are grateful to God for this.
“On the fear of traffic gridlock, I assure you that Ibadan will only experience a gridlock of commerce and economic growth and not that of thuggery and disharmony. We shall work with the incoming administration to ensure effective physical infrastructural inputs to avoid traffic congestion,” the governor said.
Governor Ajimobi also used the occasion to commend the Federal Government for working day and night to build a better Nigeria, part of which he noted, was the construction of the light rail which would ease transport of goods and people across the nation.
Ajimobi particularly eulogized the Transportation Minister, who he said had done so much good for his people in Rivers State, saying he could be likened to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of Lagos state.