Minister of transport, Mr Rotimi Ameachi, has alerted Oyo State Government to be ready to take over the stress of traffic congestion that characterizes the popular Apapa Expressway from the nation’s largest seaport immediately the Lagos-Ibadan corridor of the light rail project is concluded.
Amaechi who was on an inspection of the project in Ibadan on Tuesday, noted that most containers and commercial goods would be transported through the rail towards Ibadan and it would ease traffic on the Apapa expressway.
The minister, however, advised that the incoming administration of governor-elect, Mr Seyi Makinde, should develop adjoining roads around the Ibadan Inland Dry Port to ease traffic around the area.
Amaechi who was also in Ibadan to visit Governor Abiola Ajimobi at the latter’s office alongside the Executive Secretary, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Shippers Council, Barr. Hassan Bello where the governor and the Shippers Council engaged in an exchange of of letters and documentations on the land donated by the state for the proposed Ibadan Inland Dry Port.
The minister appreciated Governor Ajimobi for making the dream of Ibadan Inland Dry Port come to fruition with the provision of necessary logistics, while he congratulated him for completing his two term reign with laudable and legacy projects.
“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 journed well and I congratulate you and your family for your success.
“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.”
While responding, Governor Ajimobi assured that instead of witnessing the like of Apapa expressway traffic gridlock, Ibadan would rather experience a gridlock of progress and immense growth of commerce.
The Governor asserted that the inland dry port project would improve economic growth, job opportunities and improve the standard of living of Oyo State people in general.
He used the moment to also salute the efforts of the Buhari-led federal government, working day and night to build a better Nigeria, part of which was the construction of the light rail which would ease transport of goods and people across the nation.
Ajimobi then eulogized the Transport minister who he said had done so much good for his people in Rivers State, add g that that he could be likened to Senator Bola Tinubu of Lagos.
“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.
“Once again we appreciate the Federal government and the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi who has done so much for Nigeria in his capacity as the Minister of Transport. We are not surprised about this. You have always done great things for your own people and you have become a leader of your own people.
“You promoted governance in Rivers State and your people appreciated this. You remain Tinubu of Rivers State. What Tinubu is of Lagos State, Amaechi is of Rivers State,” he said.
The Ibadan Inland Dry Port project was conceived to decongest the Apapa Seaport and avoid difficulties attached to such and it was expected engender massive employment as well as improve the State and local government’s internally generated revenues.
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Shippers Council, Hassan Bello said the Inland Dry Port project would gulp $99,665,626 as it would include equipments parking, trucks parking among other facilities on a 90 hectares land provided by the State government.