The six Southwest governors yesterday agreed that the solution to the Apapa, Lagos gridlock is the use of railway for transportation.
At their quarterly meeting at the Government House in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, the governors, under the auspices of the Western Nigerian Governors’ Forum, urged the Federal Government to engage the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) to end the daily gridlock.
Expressing concern over the heavy traffic situation around Apapa, the governors urged the Federal Government to be proactive.
They noted that the heavy traffic on the Apapa route was taking its toll on the region’s and the nation’s economies.
The governors said an alternative route should be created as a palliative from Apapa to Ibafo in Ogun State, adding that such a route would reduce the effect the daily heavy traffic on the economy and road users.
They advised that the alternative routes should link the Tin Can Island in Apapa through Tomoro Island to Ibafo.
Besides the host Governor Rauf Aregbesola, others at the meeting were Lagos State Deputy Governor Mrs. Idiat Oluranti Adegbule, Oyo State Deputy Governor Moses Adeyemo and the Secretary to the Ekiti State Government (SSG), Abiodun Oyebamiji.
Addressing the closing session of the meeting, with the theme: The Imperative of Regional Integration, Aregbesola called for an overhaul of Nigeria’s constitution to enhance regional development and remove the barriers militating against economic and investment drives of the region.
In his renewed call for the restructuring of Nigeria, the governor said he believed in the federal system of government because “this will accelerate the development of each region”.
Apparently echoing Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, his deputy said: “Western Region must come back to the old region, which was the first among other religions. 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 Southwest was the first in everything.”
Oyebamiji, who represented Governor Kayode Fayemi, read the communique of the meeting on behalf of the governors.
He said the DAWN Commission initiated the process to start leveraging opportunities the Nigerian Constitution offers in order to put in place regional processes and institutions that will mitigate the decline in critical sectors of education, sport, agriculture and security.