By Ranmilowo Ojalumo
The Lagos State Government has stated its commitment to implement multi-modal transport integration across the state with a view to providing lasting solution to the challenges facing the movement of the people in the state.
The state governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu stated the commitment on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the National Transport Technology Conference and Exhibition held in Lagos.
The Governor who was ably represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, stated that the state has been at the forefront of investment in a technological driven Multi-modal transportation system to address the technical challenges in the transport sector, noting that the goal of the state government is to synchronize all modes of transportation to reduce travel time in a safe and affordable way for the citizenry, adding that his administration has remained resolute in completing existing mass transit line project to cater for the growing population.
The governor noted that an innovation such as the Cowry Card was created to synergize connectivity of the modes via centralized payment to simplify accessibility to all mode intervention and harness economic advantage. Governor Sanwo-Olu also explained that the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), Traffic Management Solution (TMS) were technology introduced to curb excesses and recalcitrant road culture with reduced human intervention on Lagos roads.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also disclosed that over 6000 kilometers of Metro Network Connection Fiber has been laid within the state to fast track higher bandwidth, faster internet speed with stronger security to make Lagos a 24hr driven Smart City, assuring that his administration is open to collaboration that can aid successful reform in the transport sector.
Earlier in her address, the Minister of State for Transportation, Mrs. Gbemisola Saraki, aligned with the need to achieve a greener transportation system to promote environmental friendliness across the country.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mrs. Magdelene Ajani, explained that the ministry was in the process of reviewing a policy on Non-Motorised Transportation (NMT) to further strengthen greener transportation in the country.
Affirming Mr. Governor’s words, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde reiterated the resolve of the Government to sustain and improve the existing technological interventions in the Transportation sector, adding that all types of challenges encountered daily require creative solutions.
Oladeinde expressed confidence in the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure and proper leverage on technology to address transport and logistics challenges in the country. He assured that all modes of transportation will be adequately reviewed for the benefit of stakeholders and improved economic turnaround.
“The meeting is taking place at a pivotal moment in our nation where a sustainable roadmap is required to shape the future of transportation.” the Transport Commissioner averred.
The Chairman Nigerian Transport Commissioners Forum, Hon. Ramatu Mohammed stated that Technology has made a profound impact on every sector, adding that the country as a whole, has barely scratched the surface of its true potential. She revealed that innovation in the sector will be examined and modified for application at grass root level.
Also speaking in his goodwill message at the event, the Federal Road Safety Corp Commander, Corp Commander Boboye Oyeyemi lauded Stakeholders in the transport sector, especially the Lagos State Government on its maximization of the Multi-modal transport system as it has managed its 40% of the nation’s vehicle density. He stressed that the sector is in dire need of diversification to solve the emerging problems and expressed optimism on the outcome of the conference.
Meanwhile, the Leader, Centre for Multi-Modal Transport Studies, University of Lagos; Professor Iyiola Oni has advocated for investment in mass transits on the Nigeria roads as against cars. Professor Oni who was the keynote speaker at the conference said multi-modalism is the solution to challenges facing the transportation sector, not just in Lagos state, but the entire country.
Sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience at the conference, Professor Oni affirmed that multi-modalism will promote accessibility to reduce carbon footprint for a greener transportation system. He also explained that development of effective policies is required for sustainability, accessibility and mobility in urban areas of Nigeria alongside necessary infrastructure, investment and political will to restructure the public transport system.