Akinwunmi Ambode, Lagos State governor, yesterday said that the first set of 5,000 new buses that would replace ‘danfo’ bus will be unveiled within the next six months.
Ambode, spoke when students of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, United States of America, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Ikeja.
He said: “In the last one year, we have decided that we must integrate rail, road water and air transportation systems in such a way that the system of connectivity is improved upon and I would like to have a direct partnership on how that can actually be actualised.
“Right now, we are cleaning out all the yellow buses you see in the state. As we proceed in the next six months and a span of three years, we are introducing 5,000 new buses of European standard to actually clean up the city, because, if you want to grow the economy of Lagos, transportation is key and then it’s a major infrastructure for tourism itself.
“The question is: How do you move 23 million people on a daily basis from point A to point B with ease and comfort? So, the way the city has been so designed in the last few years, the city has actually concentrated on only one mode of transportation, which is road transportation.
“There are eight million people walking on the streets of Lagos every minute, did we create more points for them? The answer is ‘no’. We have one-fifth of the state on water, are we doing effective water transportation? The answer is ‘no’.
“The rail system is still under construction in such a way that it can move mass number of people from one point to another. That is why we have a whole lot of congestion on the road.
Ambode said the state government had made series of intervention to improve road transportation network through the creation of more bus terminals, lay-bys, bus stops to accommodate the eventual take off of the Bus Reform Initiative.
The governor also disclosed that the reforms in the water transportation system was ongoing and would take off fully within the next six to nine months, as a means to encourage residents to utilise it as an alternative means of transportation.
Ambode also listed urban migration as one of the major challenges his administration was contending with just as he revealed that about 86 persons enter into Lagos on a daily basis without any plan to go back.
“People fly in from Ghana to come and use our hospitals here in Lagos. So, we now have to sit down beyond what we have learnt in school to look at the practical challenges of urban migration and good governance and things we have to mitigate against a population that is unaccounted for,” Ambode added.