• Saturday, December 02, 2023
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Transport project to add 11,000 jobs, N47bn to Enugu economy – Govt

Mbah breaks water jinx in Enugu, targets 120m litres daily

The Enugu State Government has unveiled the first phase of the Transport Infrastructure Project, which includes several bus terminals, transport interchanges, logistics hubs, city gates and rail stations across the state.

The government said on Sunday that the infrastructures would provide over 11,000 skilled and semi-skilled jobs for the youths and also attract at least N47.5 billion investment to the economy.

A statement signed by Obi Ozor, commissioner of transport, said the state had taken a series of ambitious steps in line with Governor Peter Mbah’s vision to reposition and remodel the transport sector and make it one of the leading modern transportation systems in Africa.

It said: “This ambitious undertaking aligns seamlessly with the state’s infrastructure enhancement plan and reflects the Governor’s vision of leveraging transport and logistics to spur economic transportation, drawing inspiration from successful models in Dubai and Singapore.

“This first phase of the project is aimed at optimising transport efficiency, preserving road assets, and fostering a conducive environment for the growth of transport-related businesses and sustainable logistics to alleviate congestion and enhance connectivity within the state in order to meet the rapidly urbanising and growing population of the state.”

He said the project would be strategically distributed across major hubs in the state for maximum economic impact.

The commissioner said the modern transport interchanges and bus terminals would include the Enugu Central Station (Holy Ghost), Garki Central Station, Abakpa Central Station, and Nsukka Central Station, adding that the logistic hubs would be sited at Obollo Afor, 9th Mile Corner and Emene to address the shortages in existing infrastructure.

According to the statement, two iconic ‘City Gates’ would be located at the Naira Triangle, Enugu, and 9th Mile, Udi, to enhance the aesthetic appeal and foster a sense of identity and pride among residents, while road markings, junction improvements and bus stop upgrades would streamline traffic management and enhance pedestrian safety.

It said: “Enugu Central Station will commence shortly opposite the Holy Ghost Cathedral. It promises to bring peace, decency, and order to an area that has challenged previous administrations’ attempts at transformation.

“Featuring two terminals dedicated to interstate and intra-city transport for ease of movement of people to the most prominent economic hub in Enugu State, an ultra-modern train station, and a myriad of amenities such as over 1,000 parking spaces, hundreds of lettable spaces for businesses, ticketing halls, external bus shelters, CNG/LNG daughter stations, filling stations, lounges, electric vehicle and a solar farm roof, this comprehensive approach ensures convenience, sustainability, and economic opportunities for users and businesses alike.”

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According to Ozor, the Enugu Central Station is strategically positioned to accommodate millions of commuters, utilising both road and rail transportation, and it holds tremendous potential for the South-East, controlling about 41 percent of human traffic in the region, facilitating movement to and from the 2nd largest Southeast market (Ogbete Main Market), and fostering intergroup relations and economic prosperity.

He said major stakeholders whose properties could be affected, especially the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), had already been engaged by the governor with plans of compensation and assistance by the government.

He said the project would curb criminal activities, enhance security and safety of motorists and passengers, improve sanitation system and eliminate the current gridlocks within the metropolis.

State plans intra-state rail with NRC

Ozor disclosed the official signing of a memorandum of understanding between his ministry and the China Rail and Bridge Company, and said the strategic partnership aims to establish a 382km rail infrastructure to foster the integration and economic prosperity of the South-East.

On the state government’s relationship with the NRC, he refuted rumours of the government’s alleged plan to take over railway properties for commercial development, saying that on the contrary, the state was planning to run intra-state operations in partnership with the corporation.

Read also: We will soon have a functional new Enugu City – Mbah

“The Enugu State Ministry of Transport has been actively engaging with stakeholders, including the Nigeria Railway Corporation, to address concerns and provide accurate information about the interchange project at Holy Ghost. In a series of meetings, including a town hall with Governor Peter Mbah, he reassured them of his commitment to fair compensation and adherence to legal processes,” the statement said.