Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, on Thursday urged investors to take advantage of the Lagos-Kano standard gauge railway project, especially with the flag-off of its Lagos-Ibadan section by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday as part of the national rail framework.
Taking to his Facebook page, the governor called attention to opportunities in the housing, culture and agricultural sectors of the capital of old Western Nigeria, areas he said the state enjoys comparative advantage.
“So we are saying in all those areas, this rail transportation system would have that multiplier effect on Oyo State. So unarguably, we are the number one beneficiary of this system,” the governor stressed further.
He noted that the railway project would reduce the travel time, because Oyo State is the gateway between Lagos State which is the nation’s commercial nerve centre and northern Nigeria- the largest and most populous geopolitical zone.
“When it comes to movement of goods and services from Lagos which is the commercial nerve centre, you pass through Oyo State. So for me, we will benefit more than any other continuous state.
“I think Oyo State will benefit more than any other state because of the contiguity of Oyo State and because of the fact that Oyo State, after Ogun State, it is next to Lagos State in distance,” he added.
The project, billed for completion in December 2018, is expected to create about half a million jobs, while facilitating the movement of over 3.2 million tonnes of cargo yearly.
According to him, “the critical role of infrastructure, and for this purpose railway, in this strategy is underscored by our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, as well as the 2016 and 2017 budgets.
“We have made provisions for matching funds in the 2016 budget to complement the concessionary loans taken from the Peoples Republic of China, and our appreciation goes to the Chinese Government and the Chinese Exim Bank, who are, and have always proved to be reliable partners to Nigeria.
Caption: Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State (left), his Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos (3rd left), Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (4th left), Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transport (5th right), Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communication.