By Bayo Ogungbe
The six Governors in the South-West states have jointly expressed concerns over the constant Apapa gridlock, urging the Federal Government to be proactive in solving the heavy traffic jam on the road.
According to them, the perpetual heavy traffic on the Apapa road is having adverse effect on the economy of the region and that of Nigeria at large, saying that the road has become a nightmare for commuters.
The Governors jointly spoke at the Quarterly Western Nigeria Governors Forum meeting, hosted by Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state last Monday.
They charged the Federal Government to engage the Nigeria Railway Corporation as an alternative route to alleviate the gridlock situation, urging the FG to enhance the NRC capacity to use rail facility for the evacuation of goods from the port to alternative terminals away from Apapa.
The governors want the Federal Government to create alternative route as palliatives from Apapa to Ibafo, noting that creation of alternative route will mitigate the effect the daily heavy traffic on the economy and as well as relief the road users.
They called on the FG to revive the designed alternative routes linking Tin Can Island through Tomoro Island to Ibafo in Ogun state, urging the Federal Government to intervene by creating these alternative routes as permanent solution to the Apapa gridlock.
The meeting which was put in place by the Development Agenda of Western Nigeria Commission, had in attendance, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Mrs Idiat Oluranti Adebule, Deputy Governor of Oyo state, Moses Adeyemo and the Secretary to the Ekiti State Government, Hon. AbiodunOyebamiji.
DAWN is a tool for regional integration by the Western Nigeria’s Governors Forum to maximize the potentials in human and materials resources in the regions.
Addressing the closing session of the meeting, Aregbesola called for total overhauling of the Nigeria’s constitution to enhance regional development and remove inhibitions to barriers militating against economic and investment drives of the region.
Aregbesola renewed his call for the restructuring of Nigeria, saying that he believes in the federal system of governance to accelerate the development of each region.
In his address, Adeyemo said: “Western part of the country must come back to the old region which was the first among other regions. We can hinge on agriculture, make use of the land in the absence of oil for the development of our region.
“We are gathered here to deliberate on how to move our region forward. We must go back to the era where the South-West was the first in everything.”
Ekiti state SSG, Oyebamiji who read the communique of the meeting, said DAWN commission initiates the process to start leveraging opportunities the Nigerian Constitution offers, in order to put in place regional processes and institutions to mitigate the decline in critical sectors of education, sport, agriculture and security.