Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Open Letter To President Buhari On Why The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Needs A Metro System Now

This is the 21st century where technology and internet holds sway and makes live easy. It’s sad and painstaking that despite various world’s renowned innovations and technologies that have shaped basic infrastructures and enhanced living, Nigeria is still lacking behind. 

We are still grasping with a basic infrastructure as simple as ROAD CONSTRUCTION! 

The city of Dubai has a Metro that is built straight into shopping Malls. South Africa and UK has Rails built into the airports.

The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is about the most important road in Nigeria which connects Lagos, the commercial heart of the country to the rest of the country. The significant of that road to the growth of commerce and businesses cannot be undermined yet the government has been battling with its expansion and renovation for almost 15 years. We were told the road when it finishes will just be a 3 to 4 lanes road on each side. My grouse is, why can’t a Shuttle Metro Line be included into the design and construction of the road now? Thousands of people and cars ply this road daily and it is only a common sense thing that at this age, a Shuttle Metro Line is the answer to the needs of the people living along the stretch of this road and those traveling daily on it.

Why a Shuttle Metro Line?

Building a Shuttle Metro Line into this road will automatically open up the adjoining towns and cities along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. Many residential estates are already springing up, and it’s only a Metro that can service these people. 

A Metro is faster than a regular car. With a Metro, it means one can make Lagos to Ibadan in less than 30 minutes compared to an average of 1 hour, 30 minutes a car will use (that’s even on a normal day when there’s no traffic).
Time is money! Commuters using the Metro will save time and automatically money. People can actually live outside Lagos and come to work in Lagos daily.

Construction Model
The construction of the Metro Line should be done by Nigerians for Nigerians with just technical supports coming from China. This should not be seen as another means of siphoning government money by politicians. 

Nigeria is having over 200 Higher Institutions. These schools can actually sent in 10 of their best Engineering students for the project as interns. These set of students will have first-hand experience on the construction and government can later trained them and employ them to be a team that can build and replicate this project across Nigeria. 

The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is 120 Kilometres from Lagos (7up end) to Ibadan (Iwo Road end). 

A Metro park will be built at 7up/Toll Gate end in Lagos and at Iwo Road with multi-storey car parks where people can park their cars at a fee while using the Metro services.

Commercial and Economical Values
With the thousands of people that ply the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway daily, there is a readymade market and usage for the Metro Services. Thousands of people lives at the cities and settlements between Lagos and Ibadan, from Magodo/Ketu/Shangisha, Ojodu/Berger, Mowe/Ibafo, Redeemed Camp, Ofada, Arepo, Sagamu, Remo, Ajebo, etc. Over 1 million people live on this stretch, so you can imagine the number of people the Metro Service can cater for and commercial potentials of the project. 

The Metro will no doubt be a money making venture for the country if it is built now and not delayed. 

The Metro project will provide jobs for people that will be employed by the operators. 

The Metro will generate direct and indirect businesses from suppliers, Ticketers, Cleaners to food vendors among others. 

The Lagos-Ibadan Metro Line will automatically take stress off Lagos as many people will move out to the adjoining cities since they know they can live outside Lagos and come by Metro to work in Lagos and go back home in recorded time and also save money!

It will take strains and stress off the main expressway as many people will prefer to use the Metro services because of time. This in return will save the government, road maintenance cost. 

The expressway cannot be completed now without this facility and 5 to 6 years later, government will say they want to modernize it and start a light rail or metro project that will start causing pains and havocs for the road users. It is better for it to be done now and the people face the hardship once and for all.

With our dwindling fortune on Crude Oil, now is the time to exploit modern technology and build long-lasting infrastructures of economical values. 

It will be a good thing if the new Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and his counterpart in Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola can sit down to review the current plan of this road and come up with a better and modern plan that can accommodate the Metro services. 

The project might look overwhelming, considering the time and resources that will go into it but with sincerity of purpose and will it is achievable and can be done also in recorded time.

Feel free to contribute to this write-up, stating things that can be done, especially professionally to achieve this feat.

If you believe in this project, kindly share this on your page.

Written By
Biodun Caston-Dada
Publisher, Acada Magazine

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