Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Amosun Decries Poor State of Federal Roads in Ogun, Launches 77 Bus Transit Scheme

Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun on Thursday expressed concern over the deplorable condition of federal roads in the state.

Amosun spoke in Abeokuta at the launch of the Ogun State Bus Mass Transit Scheme (BMTS).

The governor said that Ogun was the worst hit in respect of the statistics of road accidents recorded in the country in 2010.

"It saddens me that out of the 465,000 deaths and 18,095 injuries recorded in 5,330 road accidents in Nigeria in 2010, 649 deaths, 1,333 injuries and 1,980 accidents occurred in Ogun State alone.

"This translates to 16 per cent of fatalities, 8 per cent of injuries, and 37 per cent of road accidents respectively," he said.

The governor attributed the development to the fact that the longest sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Sagamu-Ore-Benin expressway traversed the length of the state.

Amosun, who described the two roads as the busiest in the country, also noted that they linked the different parts of Nigeria.

"The deplorable state of these roads and other federal roads in Ogun State are worrisome.

"I, therefore, plead with the Federal Government, and most especially, the Federal Ministry of Works, to pay attention to these roads, as a matter of urgency."

Amosun promised that Ogun government would continue to renovate existing roads as well as construct new ones.

According to him, the ongoing renovation of the six-lane Ibara-Ita-Eko-Totororoad, which is being linked with the Oke-Ilewo road, through an over-head bridge, will be commissioned in November.

He also said that the state government would soon award contract for the renovation of other major roads in the three senatorial districts of the state.

"These are roads which will re-define the landscape of our state and bear testimony to the determination of our administration to pursue our Urban Renewal and Rural Infrastructure Development Programme.

"This is the only way this mass transit project could be sustainable.

"With good roads in place, these buses will be able to move around easily and carry more passengers at once.

"This will reduce the need for motorists to put their vehicles on the road, thereby reducing cost of maintenance of vehicles.

"As the number of vehicles on our roads is reduced, the roads will become freer and the man-hour wasted in road traffic jams will also reduce.

"This will eventually reduce the propensity for road accidents and casualties arising from such," Amosun said.

The governor said that the scheme was part of his administration's effort to ease the burden of the partial removal of the oil subsidy by the Federal Government in January.

He said that the scheme had also become necessary following expansion of the agricultural and industrial sectors of the state.

"With the growth in our economy, we have to evolve a viable transportation system that will easily move people and goods from one place to the other.

"One of the major factors contributing to economic development of any society is the availability of affordable and efficient transportation system," he said.

Amosun called on all traffic agencies, transport unions as well as other stakeholders to partner with the state government for the success of the scheme.

Mrs Modupe Ojo, the Head of Planning, Research and Statistics in the state Bureau of Transportation, in her address, said that the scheme had 77 buses in its fleet.

According to her, the fleet is composed of 27 luxury Ashok Leyland buses of 43 seats each, 30 18-seater Toyota buses and 20 Nissan buses

She said that the buses would ply both intra and inter-state routes as already incorporated in the scheme. NAN

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