The proposed plan railway transport project by the Ogun State government ,yesterday, suffered a setback as the Minister of Works, Power and Housing , Mr Babatunde Fashola, attributed lack of fund as the major challenge the state is facing to construct railway roads within its locality and environs.
He therefore pointed out that the creation of the railway road system in any state cannot be single handedly funded by the government of that state saying that the cost of materials, manpower needed to make the project a reality was too expensive.
The minister mentioned Lagos and Rivers as only two States in the whole 36 states of the federation that were able to embark on such projects and succeeded fairly because of their abilities to sustain and maintain their economy even without collecting federal government allocations.
Fashola spoke at the State 2016,Investors' Forum in company of some panelists who had come to the occasion to deliver lectures on the theme:,"Agriculture, Environment and Transportation" .
The former governor of Lagos state added that no states in the country had succeeded in building a modern railway roads in Nigeria without the support of federal government.
"There is only two states that I know have built railway transportation in Nigeria and that is Lagos and Rivers States, all railway projects are usually built by the federal government and the ones built by any state is supported by the federal government" he said.
Speaking on the topic" infrastructure as the catalyst for socio- economic development", Fashola divulged that the federal government has given 30% of the recently signed budget to capital expenditure, which would be benefited small and medium scale entrepreneurs in the open markets.
The minister who acknowledged that the state government was borrowing to do some laudable projects in state, especially in the area of roads , disclosed that such measure was needed to foster development in the state.
He however, lauded the state government under the leadership of Senator Ibikunle Amosun for the construction of modern roads across the state, calling on his government to build roads in the rural areas so as to avoid congestion of people in urban area.
According to him, the urban roads are usually densely populated, this is because the infrastructural facilities often, such as regular power supply, good roads, quality healthcare delivery, availability of portable water system in the areas.
While speaking, the State Commissioner for works, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite called on investors at the forum to come and partner with the state government in making its dream of railyway transport system a reality.
" We have discovered that the more roads we build, the more vehicles that come to our road, therefore we need to think of the alternative means of moving people, and then we started thing beyond road infrastructure, hence, the need for the railway transportation, he stressed.
The commissioner, also hinted that the proposed railway transportation would not only be benefited by the citizens working within the state but would also reduce the everyday road transportation stress being experience by the state citizenry who work at the neighboring Lagos state.
," Most people who live in Ogun wake up as early as 3:30 through 4:am to get to their places of work in Lagos, so we are saying why don't we just build the railway , for the people to get to Marina in 25 minutes.." he explained.