Since he was inaugurated as the Governor of Ogun State in 2019, Dapo Abiodun has been passionate about the development of transportation infrastructure, having recognised the need for an efficient public transport system.
He started off by inaugurating an interim committee on transport sector. The following year, based on the committee’s recommendation, a full-fledged Ministry of Transportation was created to replace the Bureau of Transportation, charged with the mandate to provide safe, affordable, accessible and comfortable multimodal transportation system that will stimulate continued development of the state.
The Governor went ahead to inaugurate the Ogun State Transportation Master Plan and also launched the Mass Bus Transit System, which are air conditioned, Wi-Fi-enabled buses. The transport policy takes into consideration the short, medium, and long-term approaches to the development of Ogun State’s transport sector and covers road, rail, water and air transportation plans. The multimodal transportation master plan of Governor Abiodun’s administration stems from the comprehensive and well researched Urban Transport Policy and Strategic Transport Intervention Plan. The buses recently launched in the pilot phase of the transport master plan are being used to transport commuters within Abeokuta for now, but will expand to other cities soon.
In the next phase of the mass transit, the route will be extended beyond the state to Lagos. This arrangement will allow Ogun State-owned buses bearing passengers to use the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes in Lagos and back, through Abeokuta, Mowe, Kara, Marina, as well as Ifo and Ado Odo-Ota axis.
In the area of water transportation, efforts are being made by the state government to provide free movement for water transport operators by clearing sea weeds on Ogun water ways and making them navigable for commercial operations. This will improve socio-economic activities and standard of living of operators and the people.
Convinced that both the inland and coastal waters running through Ogun State offer huge and promising business opportunities for several communities which have been isolated due to lack of water transportation system, the Abiodun administration is set to facilitate private investment in water transportation in other to connect several communities in Ipokia, Ado-Odo/Ota, Odogbolu, Ijebu East and Ogun Waterside Local Government Areas laterally and also vertically with Badagry, Iba, Ibeju Lekki and Epe in Lagos State for rural socio-economic integration.
The government also plans to invest in jetties and ferry services which will commence very soon as promoters are already signifying interest. Also, in the multimodal Transport Master Plan is the airport project which is at Iperu-Ilishan. Although conceived by a previous administration, it has been incorporated in the transportation master plan of the Abiodun’s administration and is under implementation.
In a matter of months, commercial activities are expected to start taking place and planes will start landing and loading and taking off at the airport. When it starts operations, it will be the first truly international cargo airport in Nigeria. It will probably be the fastest built airport anywhere and it is much more than a cargo airport. The airport is strategically located and its functionality is embedded in its location within the Special Agro Processing Zone. It is estimated that the Agro Cargo Airport will provide means of livelihood for 25,000 people.
In the area of rail transportation, Govermor Abiodun has been working hand-in-hand with the Lagos State and the Federal Governments to extend commuter railway services to Ogun state. Consequently, the Lagos Blue and Red rail lines will commence operation between the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2023.
It is already confirmed that the 31-kilometre red line passengers’ rail service from Oyingbo in Lagos State will navigate through Lagos mainland, Ikeja in Lagos West and berth at Agbado station in Ogun State.
Also in the pipeline is another rail line, the blue passengers’ train that transverses from Apapa to Okokomaiko, but plans are afloat to stretch its services from the University town of Ojoo to the Nation’s industrial hub at Agbara industrial estate in Ogun State.
Ogun state also plans to latch on to the initiative to extend Redline train services beyond Agbado to other parts of the state such as Ijoko and Kajola, among others. Ogun and Lagos states are already taking advantage of the significant investment of the Federal Government through the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) along the Lagos/Ibadan standard gauge railway infrastructure to ensure transportation is effective and efficient to serve the economic needs of Lagos and Ogun as the commercial nerve and industrial hub of the nation, respectively.
The transport sector in Ogun is just one of the numerous examples of how meticulous Governor Abiodun has been in the conception, plan and implementation of his policies towards shared prosperity. His massive road construction policy feeds favourably into the transport policy, which is aimed at opening up those hitherto neglected border corridors, so that, socio-economic activities can flourish and the state and its people can further prosper.
It is in recognition of Governor Dapo Abiodun’s extraordinary vision pursued with collaboration, sincerity of purpose and the interest of the people as the ultimate goal, demonstrated in the transportation sector that he has been honoured with the Governor of the Year award by the Top10 Magazine.