Governors across Western Nigeria have called on the Federal Government to urgently engage the Railway Corporation to decongest the gridlock along Apapa road, which hosts nation’s major port.
In a communique issued at the quarterly meeting of the Governors Forum and the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission in Osogbo on Monday.
The governors urged the the government to enhance the capacity of the Nigeria Railway Corporation to use rail facility to evacuate goods from the port to alternative terminals, thereby supporting the current road decongestion process.
The Commission noted that the gridlock exposes the nation to economic disaster, thereby wasting excessive man hours and colossal economic loss.
It therefore urged the central government to collaborate with Commission, particularly the Lagos State initiative on the alternative routes.
“The designed alternative routes linking Tin Can Island through tomorrow Island to to Ibafo in Ogun State must be revived. The region expressed great great concern about the situation and that the FG should intervene by creating those alternative routes as permanent solution to Apapa gridlock”.
Restructuring and integration
The governors lent their voice to the call for restructuring and regional integration without any threat to the sovereignty, stability and peaceful coexistence of the people and the country.
“The DAWN Commission initiate processes to start leveraging opportunities the Nigerian constitution offers, in order to put in place regional processes and institutions to mitigate the decline in the critical sectors of education, sports, agriculture and security, e.g regional produce board, regional security arrangement, joint examination board, regional sports board, etc.”
In furtherance of its quest for integration, the Forum challenged the Osun State to flag off a Trophy Tour of the Western Nigeria Governors Cup as a signpost to promote regional sports development.
It stressed that, “regional integration as a model of sustainable development is in the enlightened interest of Western Nigeria and urged the people to eschew divisive elements and actions.”
Focus on agriculture
On agriculture, the governors mandated the DAWN Commission to engage the necessary institutions and development partners in accessing the soil features of the region as an imperative to boosting agricultural potentials of Western Nigeria and support the farmers in the region.
It also urged its economic arm, the Odu’a Investment Group to champion the quest for food security in the region.
The host governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola who gave assurance of the Osun State active involvement in the common agenda of the Forum, even after the expiration of his tenure, positioned that equitable restructuring of regions will enable the people to effectively define themselves and take care of their affairs in the best way.
He however called for a review of the Nigeria constitution to facilitate the realisation of true restructuring with true and rewarding regional integration.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo