6th June, 2011
Emeritus Professor, Michael Filani of the Department of Geography, University of Ibadan has proffered a way to decongest traffic in Lagos State, saying there is a need to urgently introduce the railway system that could move thousands of people at a time.
Filani spoke at the 70th birthday of Dr. Tajudeen Bawa-Allah, Deen, School of Transportation, Lagos State University at the Public Service Staff Development Centre, PSSDC, Magodo, Ketu, Lagos, southwest Nigeria at the weekend. â€œDecongesting Lagos State would involve the provision of reliable railway services to Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports to facilitate traffic modal shift from road to rail, assessment of the feasibility of establishing a dry port somewhere around Otta and the development of alternative ports, especially for traffic, for example, in Onne.
â€œIn order to achieve all these, priority should be given to revitalizing the Apapa Port rail links, constructing the link to Tin Can Island and completing the Onne rail link as soon as possible,â€ he suggested.
Filani, who delivered a lecture on Transportation and National Development: Issues, Challenges and Way Forward, added that in order to shift some traffic from road to other modes, especially rail and inland waterways, there is a need to position the rail to capture port traffic.
â€œThe inland dry ports as proposed by the Federal Ministry of Transport should effectively be coordinated through the provision of reliable and affordable point to point services. Finally, the dwell times in ports for ships should be reduced in order to decrease congestion charges and lower transport costs,â€ he stated.
He also said that there was need to improve the main road corridors since road transport would continue to dominate to dominate the transport industry in the foreseeable future.
The university don stated that the key ones which had been identified by transport companies included the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; the Lagos-Abuja (especially Akure-Owo-Okene-Lokoja-Abuja) link; Lagos-Benin via Ijebu-Ode, Asabs-Onitsha, Oweri-Port Harcourt and Jebba-Tegina-Kaduna. According to Filani, the reform in the transportation sector must be geared towards the promotion of sustainable inter-modalism which would provide integration of all modes in such a way that each of them, though market driven, would carry the traffic for which it was best suited.
He stressed that the key features of an inter-modal transport are coordinated planning and building of transport infrastructure, coordinated operation of transport services, efficient infrastructural and operational linkages, among others.