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Obaseki pledges modern, efficient transport system, as Edo develops master plan

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The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is partnering with stakeholders on the development of a master plan to improve the state’s transportation sector, ensuring a modern, effective and efficient transport system.

Obaseki disclosed this during a transport sector stakeholders’ summit at the Government House in Benin City.

The summit with the theme, “Edo Transport Sector: Harmonizing for Sustainability,” hosted stakeholders, including academia, investors, transporters, and government agencies, among others to brainstorm on how to reposition the state’s transport sector.

Obaseki said his government is taking pragmatic steps towards ensuring a modern and efficient transport system in Edo, given the strategic location of the state as a transit location.

According to him, “Edo is a natural transport hub in the country. All major road transportation networks terminate in Edo State. Our vision as a state is to develop an efficient and effective transportation system that will serve the needs of the people who are commuters and improve their quality of life as they reside in our State.

“Nigeria is a country with over 200 million people and the means of moving these people and their goods is by road. No country in the world has successfully done that because it’s an inefficient mode of moving goods and services. So, as a state, we have begun to look ahead.”

He continued: “In Edo state, we don’t have a clear-cut transportation policy; the actors and players in the state used to determine what goes, as there was no regulation in Edo State.

“But working with you, we must regulate the system and ensure that things are done in an orderly manner. We all must agree on a strategic plan to improve the system.”

Giving an insight on the Edo State 30-year development plan in the transport sector context, Governor Obaseki said his administration will offer a conducive avenue for experts, policymakers and other key players in the transport industry to brainstorm on the interconnectedness between transportation and tourism, as well as the connectivity between road, rail, and air transport services for the purpose of economic diversification.

He stated, “We are pushing to have an airport in Edo North; it’s a thing to do. No airport between Benin and Abuja, which is about 500km. An airport will make sense with the University, two cement plants and the mining activities in the area. We have also seen an increase in traffic in Edo North. It’s necessary to have an airport there.

“I am very optimistic that if any state can organise its transportation sector to become world-class standard, Edo is that state.”

Delivering a paper titled, “Edo State Transportation Sector: Challenges and Intervention of Present Administration,” Managing Director of Edo City Transport Services, Mrs. Edugie Agbonlahor said transportation plays a crucial role in the socio-economic growth and development in any society.

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