Inter-state rail system strategic for Southwest integration, devpt – Abiodun’s Aide

By Nudoiba Ojen

The Special Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun on Media and Strategy, Hon. Kayode Akinmade, has said that inter-state rail system is strategic for the development of the South West region.

Akinmade made this known on Saturday when speaking on the topic ‘Regional Integration and Development: The case of Ogun State’ at the Western Post 2024 Annual Retreat in Abeokuta.

He said that Governor Abiodun, upon the assumption of office in 2019, strategically came up with idea of speedy development through the concept of Multi-modal Transport Management System, which connects the State with others in the region through air, water, rail and road and as well access to the rest of the world.

Akinmade noted that with railway interconnectivity, development in the Southwest would be faster as the movement of people and goods is made easier.

He said, “The inter-state rail system that cuts across the states in the Southwest have been efficiently explored by Ogun State for effective connectivity in the region. At present, the state has more rail stations than any other state; there are five different stations within the stretch of Lagos and Ibadan alone.

“With an efficient rail system, an indigene of Ado Ekiti can secure employment in Ogun State, get to office everyday from Ekiti and return at the closing hour around 5pm, and before 7pm he will be back in Ado Ekiti.

“That is the type of regional integration we are institutionalising in the state so that individuals in any of the states in the region can freely interact, transact and relax in the state without hindrance,” he said.

The Special Adviser stated that oil exploration would soon commence in the state and that it would put the region on a more viable economic footing.

He reassured that the Gateway International Agro-Cargo airport would be inaugurated soon, saying that it would be the best in the West Africa corridor with the largest runway and apron.

Akinmade stated that the airport would bring great relief to thousands of manufacturers operating in the State to get imported materials with ease and also transport their finished goods to the rest of the world without facing the traffic snarl in Lagos.

He explained that the airport would serve as a potent regional development tool and means of connectivity among the states of the region and with the rest of the world.

“Our government is working on a dry port at Kajola, which will sufficiently complement the Agro-Cargo Airport in the area of importation and exportation of raw materials and finished goods by manufacturers, and by implication serve as a better alternative to the Lagos Port that is often characterized by heavy congestion,” said Akinmade.

The Special Adviser disclosed that the government had constructed over 500km of roads across the state to make mobility easier and connect other states more effectively, adding that the roads had made regional integration possible considering the strategic location of Ogun State in the region.

“Of profound interest is the recent resolution by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to start oil exploration in Ogun State and make the State an oil-producing State, which in the next 12 months will begin to unfold and put the region on a more viable economic footing.

“Our administration has invested heavily in agriculture to ensure food security, and just last week, the Governor allocated expansive lands to state lawmakers for the purpose of aggressive mechanised farming. It may interest you to know that our State is presently the largest producer of poultry products and cassava in the country”.

Akinmade lauded the governor’s unwavering commitment to speedy development of the State and the region at large, through his ISEYA mantra, which encompasses : Infrastructure, Social Welfare and Wellbeing, Education, Youths Empowerment and Job Creation and lastly Agriculture.

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