Various Speakers at the just concluded Ogun Investors’ Forum had adjudged the trio transportation systems – the Railway, Waterways and Airport proposed by the State as catalyst to achieving viable investment opportunities alongside socio-economic development.
The Speakers made this known during one of the sessions at the forum which focused on Transportation: Strategic Infrastructure As Catalyst For Socio-Economic Development.
The Speakers, Mr. Kunle Elebute, Partner and Head of Advisory Services, KPMG, Minister for Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola as lead discussant and other panelists which include Dr. George Banjo, Captain Eddy Boyo of Overland Airways and Mr. Abiodun Otunola, Planet Projects Ltd, agreed that the States’ investment in transport sector has huge economic benefits but could only be sustained through set goals and holistic plans.
Mr. Fashola said though Nigeria has its challenges in the area of transportation system, disclosing that the Federal Government was working on a frame work that would revive the sector, adding that the vision of sustainable transportation system in Nigeria could only be achieved with clear cut vision.
He noted that Ogun State has taken a bold step in the area of transportation particularly the rail network to boost its investment base, but added that inadequate capital had been the bane of successful completion and management of some of the transportation projects, especially rail across the country citing Federal Government, Lagos and Cross River of experiencing similar challenges in completing their rail projects.
Dr. George Banjo posited that Ogun State rail project was achievable considering the Public Private Partnership (PPP) involved in its planning and management, advising the State to collaborate with Federal Government to encourage the development of rail sub-sector which would serve as a life line of supplies in time of challenges.
Dr. Boyo on his part saw a more prosperous business opportunity in the development of airport in the State, adding that more global investment would be attracted if the State could develop its own airport and not have to depend on its neighbours, noting that only 2.5 kilometers was needed to get a runway that would fly a plane outside the country.
Mr. Abiodun Otunola suggested that the State should carry out thorough investigations on why rail projects had failed in Nigeria, saying that the inquiry would further equip the State to achieve a sustainable rail project.
Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite earlier in his presentation gave the progressive report of the proposed transportation project, saying that the State had developed a policy of building a standard road networks among others.
Adegbite said that the trio transportation scheme of the State cuts across its Intra State Rail Project, Airport and Waterways, noting that proposed rail project was aimed at reducing vehicular activities and hours spent on roads across the State.
He said the rail project would open a new investment opportunities to hundreds of thousands of people in all the selected rail corridors in the State, stating that the need to develop two airports in the state was borne out of the need to take advantage of its proximity to Lagos as well as tapping the huge investment opportunities that exists in Olokola Free Trade Zone.
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