Whenever it is time for yuletide like Christmas and New Year, the critical issues that readily comes to mind is the movement of people from one place to the other, or within the locality.
This readily brings to mind the legacies of public officers who had distinguish themselves in the public office while at the helm of affairs.
Just like the decision of Lagos State government under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu that provided not only subsidized transport system and robust policy through the BRT in Lagos , but special routes and the recent free fare during the Christmas and new year 2021.
This is inspite of collosal damages that occured during the nation wide Endsars crises, that led to the loss of properties worth trillions in Lagos, including the 🚗 complete clamp down of BRT buses with most burnt down.
It also readily brings to mind the transportation legacies of Capt Idris Wada, immediate past Kogi Governor, many years after his first tenure as kogi Govenor.
Capt Idris Wada during his period introduced a Private Public Partnership PPP transport system, as a result of the teething problems arising from the state government continuous running of a transport company and other adjoining issues.
Wada’s high capacity Buses within a ten kilometres stretch of Ganaja village to Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja charged a paltry amount of N50 on a journey of N200 ordinarily.
Popularly known as Capt Wada buses, the administration between 2012-2016 did not stop at making life more easier for students, workers and travellers as well as business men and women, but at yuletide period of Salah, Christmas and New Year, free bus services was also introduced and sustained.
The singular gesture of the transport policy of Capt Wada made life easier for workers on the stretch of 200 housing units, Paul Omeruo’s quarters,500 Hundred housing units as well as the large settlers of new Lokoja from the stretch of the ten kilometers trip to Lokongoma, Workers village, State Secretariat, Otokiti housing estate, Chari Megu Meri Barracks uptill, Zango village and crusher with it’s large settlers known as Lokoja mega settlements.
The transport system was put in place with a clearly mapped out Bus stops along the road to avoid rush,accidents,gridlocks and hold up for other road users.
The residents of the state capital, Lokoja had already adjusted to the new policy on transportation before the advent of another administration.
Even though, the one time robust transport policy is now history, Capt Wada did not stop at opening up a mega park with fleets of Buses, the best in the North Central in recent time, so as to create reliable engagements not for drivers and their workers alone, but other beneficiaries like food vendors, traders, and many other businesses in the state capital.
Kogi State Capital, Lokoja being a route to both the South and Northern parts of the country, would have witnessed a bumper IGR with Capt Wada’s dream project of transportation realisable.
While in Lagos State ,transport policy carried over from Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s administration to Babatunde Fashola, Ambode and now rejigged and rebranded by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu with many innovations inline with the present realities of the cosmopolitan Lagos State.
Aside from provision of more high capacity buses before and after the Endsars crises, Sanwo-Olu also opened up more BRT roads specially designed for pliers of government transport system.
This is in addition to reducing to the barest minimum the hustle and bustle of Lagos hold up or traffic congestion, that had retarded ease of doing business and the activities of free flow of traders and business entities including government activities.
The free yuletide transport system of Sanwo-Olu and Wada may be negligible in the eyes of many Nigerians, but had assisted in no small measure to address social problems, economic growth and infrastructural developement and utilisation.
Government at all levels should endeavour to sustain laudable policies by both current and previous administrations geared towards addressing the plight of ordinary Nigerians both within the states and the country at large.
The two notable policies had reduced to the barest the influx of motorcycles transport and tricycles as well as carnages on the roads.
It had also provided a robust protection for other road users who needed not to contend with the recklessness of other fast transport system like Okada and Keke in the two states.
This was greatly achieved with a policy framework to inject wholly private conglomerates and individuals into improving transportation systems in the two states.
Sanwo-Olu and Capt Idris Wada was able to mitigate the economic hardships through injection of millions and billions into the transport policy of the two states.
The positive developement if sustained and replicated in other states of Nigeria will improve tremendously, the welfare of ordinary Nigerians.
Written By Abubakar Yusuf