A SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, CAPTAIN IDRIS WADA, GOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE ON THE OCCASION OF THE COMMISSIONING OF LOKOJA CITY BUS SERVICE ON AUGUST 11, 2014.
Good morning: This is indeed a very good morning and it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this important occasion of the commissioning of Lokoja City Bus Service (LCBS).
The Lokoja City Bus Service is a division of Kogi State Transport Company, and it has been established to facilitate the movement of our people in a safe and orderly manner at an affordable ticket price with the rapidly growing Lokoja metropolis.
This event is a landmark in the history of my administration, because it marks the beginning of the restructuring of the road and water transportation in the state through the Kogi State Transport Company.
The desire to restructure the company is borne out of my administration’s commitment to provide safe,comfortable and affordable means of transport for the entire citizenry and residents of the state.
The road transportation sector plan is intended to be implemented in phases, beginning with Lokoja City Bus Service which we are gathered here today to commission. Other phases which will follow in due course include intra-state (between LGA Headquarters amd the State capital) and inter-state Bus Services which will provide transport services from the State capital to other State capitals as well as different cities and parts of the country.
In order to ensure sustainability of the new transport service, the State Government has engaged the services of a reputable consultant, Planet Project Limited who will manage the operation of the City Bus Service for an initial period of two years. We have taken this step of engaging the services of the Consultant in order to benefit from their expertise and Global best practices, ensure efficiency as well as improve the probability of success in a tough market.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, my Government has procured twelve 32-seater Ashok Leyland buses at a cost of N110,791,500.00 from SURE-P funds. The buses are designated to ply the major roads in Lokoja metropolis initially. These roads include:
Ganaja Village through Ganaja Junction to Army Barracks;
Ganaja Village through Ganaja Junction to Felele;
Army Barracks through Ganaja Junction to Felele.
The twelve Buses will be in operation at scheduled times from 6.OOam to 8pm daily including weekends. In order to ensure that all categories of commuters have access to the buses irrespective of their incomes, a token amount of Fifty Naira (N50) only is to be charged per drop per passenger. This is a highly subsidized rate designed to help commuters travel quickly, comfortably and efficiently to their offices, markets, hospitals, schools or other endeavours.
There are plans to recruit more personnel (workers) as soon as we commence the second phase of the scheme.
I wish, at this point, to urge the consultants to bring their wealth of experience to bear by ensuring proper and efficient management of the scheme so as to justify the huge investment of government in the scheme.
I hereby direct the new Ministry of Transport, which is the supervising Ministry to ensure strict supervision and monitoring of the drivers, bus attendants and the consultants so that we can achieve the desired objectives of providing efficient public transport services to our people at affordable prices.
As many of you might have heard and observed, my administration has already awarded a contract for the expansion and reconstruction of the main Lokoja Township road which is expected to provide smooth and modern routes for the City buses to ply. This Road project is being handled by C.G.C Nig. Limited, a very well known reputable company, and it has a completion period of Eighteen (18) months. It starts from “Welcome to Lokoja Roundabout — Army Barracks — Police Zone 8 Roundabout — Murtala Mohammed Way — International Market”.
When this project is completed, Lokoja will wear a new and beautiful look which we will all be proud of.
We shall continue to work hard to improve the socio-economic well-being of the people, but we cannot do it alone without the support and co-operation of allour people. I sincerely wish to thank all the stakeholders in the transport sub-sector and their leadership for honouring our invitation to be here today (Monday). The members of NURTW, Transport Owners Association, and Keke-Napep operators, Okada Riders Association, etc are all here, and are cooperating to ensure the success of the project. This is an indication that you are all willing to join hands with this Government to transform the transportation sector in the State.
It is very difficult for one group of stakeholders alone to meet all the transportation needs of the people, hence the need for government to complement private sector efforts and partner with you for the benefit of our people.
To this end, my government has created the new Ministry of Transport to focus on rendering services unique to this important sector of our economy, ranging from buses and taxis, to water transport,railways, airports and air services. We are open to suggestions and willing to consider viable proposals to transform the various means of transportation in the State mentioned above.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me conclude by assuring all investors and stakeholders that we will do everything in our power to protect and help grow their businesses in Kogi State.
Ladies and Gentlemen, It is now my honour and privilege to commission the Lokoja Intra-city Bus Service to the Glory of God and benefit of humanity.
Thank you and God bless you all.