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Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has stressed the need for commercial motorcyclists, popularly called “okada” to desist from operating on Expressways, because of the inherent danger they constitute.

Goverrnor Abiodun stated this Wednesday when he inaugurated the Ogun State Transport Master Plan Committee in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

He said the purpose of allowing motorcyclists to operate in the State, was to serve as a means of moving people from the interior parts of the town to the major roads, regretting that they have since abandoned this role and are now plying the Expressways.

Prince Abiodun who described venturing into the highways by the cyclists as ‘suicidal’, not only to the riders, but also said they are a nuisance to their passengers.

He noted that the act is appalling and something must be done to stop the trend, he said while charging members of the Committe led by the State Commissioner for Transportation, Engr Gbenga Dairo.

“We have the menace of these Okadas, it is not limited to Ogun State alone. I recalled that when Okada was introduced, they were meant to serve the people from the internal roads to the major roads. They were not meant to ply the major roads. Worst still, they were not meant to ply highways. Today, you see okada on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. I think that must stop.

He charged members of the Committee to come up with measures that would discourage motorcycle operators from operating, saying, “In the meantime, you need to come up with a decision on Okadas and how to stop them from plying the highways. We must not see Okadas on Lagos Ibadan expressway because this is completely unacceptable.

“That road was not built for Okadas. It is not our intention to disposses the people of employment opportunities or business opportunities, but at the same time, we must do so within the context and confine of what works for us and we want to ensure that things are better organised” he said.

The Goverrnor noted that despite of the high level of technological breakthrough in telecommunications which has turned the world into a global village, the position of transportation, be it road, rail, air or water, remains as important as ever, adding that transportation that enhances exchange, as material and human resources, machinery, and material end products still have to be physically transported.

He said the State appreciate the fact that the ease of transportation would play an important role in our “Pull effect” in attracting new investments, saying that this has led the administration to come up with a multi-dimensional approach that would ensure formulation of practicable policies, which would in-turn provide for implementation of sustainable programmes and infrastructure.

“Transportation Sector in Ogun State is no longer an almost mono-focus on administration of transport unions, it is now a strategic function that properly situates and integrates transportation as an integral part of our Administration’s overall development of our dear State”, the Governor emphasiesed.

He said his government vision for transportation in the State was principally to transport services and infrastructure, noting that the regulatory framework should serve the interests of residents, workers, visitors and businesses in the State and support socio-economic development of Ogun State in a sustainable manner.

He said the inauguration of the Steering Committee of Ogun State Transportation Master Plan was in furtherance of the administration’s commitment to the development of the transport sector as an
integral part of the economic system of the State.

The Steering Committee, according to the Goverrnor, is expected to complete its assignment in 12 weeks.

They are to provide a blueprint to:
*Ensure that Transport Master Plan produced is consistent with the policies, aims and goals of my administration;
*Ensure that the Plan is delivered on time and that it addresses the practical needs of our State;
*Make the case for resources necessary to satisfactorily complete the assignment;
*Support the planning process with timely provision and access to relevant information and relevant resources domiciled in their respective MDAs;

They are also to ensure that the interests of their MDAs, as it relates to the transport sector, are taken into consideration during the planning process;
:Provide the Executive Council (EXCO) with progress briefings from time to time.

Responding on behalf of the members, the Chairman of the Committee, who is also the Commissioner for Transportation, Engr. Gbenga Dairo, noted that transportation is critical in the socioeconomic well being of the people, saying that they would hit the ground running and come up with a Master Plan that the State would be proud of.

Other members of the Committee are: Commissioner of Finance and Economic Adviser to the Goverrnor, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo; Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, TPL Tunji Odunlami; Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya; Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr. Taiwo Dotun; Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investments, Mrs. Kikelomo Alonge and the Special Adviser/ Director General, Burreau of Lands, Mr.Aina Salami

The other members are drawn from the State-owned Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye including the Head of Department, Transport Management in OOU, Dr. Bashiru Raji and another faculty member, Dr. Ola Solanke.

Engr. Tosin Akinleye, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the State Ministry of Transportation would serve as the committee’s Secretary.

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