Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, said on Monday that the state would take full advantage of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Rail project when it becomes fully functional.
Governor Makinde, who stated this at the end of an inspection tour of the rail project which he embarked upon alongside the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of State for Transport, Senator Gbemisola Saraki and other Federal and State government officials, stated that Oyo State would put everything in place in terms of infrastructure to ensure that the residents derive the full benefits from the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project.
He added that when completed, the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project would bring lots of economic benefits to Oyo State, adding that his administration would harvest the benefits for the good of the state.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Governor as saying that “so far, a lot of effort has been put into the rail project, though a lot of things still need to be done.”
The Governor, the Ministers and other officials had embarked on the inspection tour from Ebutte Metta, through Iju, Abeokuta and then Omi-Adio, Ibadan.
He said: “I can say that so far, so good, work is going on and a lot of effort is being put into it. A lot has been achieved so far and a lot of things still needed to be done. But for me personally, it is a wake-up call for us in Oyo State because the track is already here and we need to pace ourselves up to meet up with what we have to do so that the handshake can be seamless and the benefits can come to our people.
“Concerning the benefits it will give to the people of Oyo State, it will bring people closer here. People will start spending money in Ibadan, staying in our hotels. You can actually do your work in Lagos and come back and sleep in Ibadan. So, we know what we really have to do to decongest Lagos and harvest people so that we can improve our own economy and set a target to get out of Lagos’ shadow.”
Governor Makinde stated that when the rail project is completed, it would offer a lot of benefits in the areas of employments and other aspects of the economy, adding that the Government would key into the programmes being followed on the rail project.
He added that the State would need to construct a road to link the rail line and also ensure proper security of lives and properties around the facility.
He said: “In the areas of employment, some companies may decide to come and set up in Ibadan because if they produce goods, it can come from the dry port here, all the way straight to Apapa port, which is where we just came from today. So, we see a lot of benefits economically. Even socially, people who want to come to Ibadan and Oyo State for socio-activities are now free, due to the nature of the road.
“We have to key into the programme that is being followed right now such that if we need to construct a road that will fit into this; if we need to look at the security aspect of things; the users of this facilities should be able to say they are in a safe and secure place.
“When you are starting from scratch, you have the opportunity to design your capacity, facility to match up with the challenges you are faced with. That is why we call those ones greenfield projects. They are actually better than brownfield. The problem that the Honourable Minister just spoke about between Ebute-meta and Apapa is because of the brownfield nature. But here is a little bit far remote from the main city. So, we have the opportunity to treat it as a greenfield project.”