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Ambode: we’ll phase out yellow buses

The Lagos State Government will soon phase out yellow buses popularly known as Danfo, Governor Akinwumi Ambode said yesterday at the 14th Annual Lecture of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) held at Muson Centre, Onikan. The theme was: “Living Well Together, Tomorrow: The Challenge of Africa’s Future Cities.”

He said the present transportation connectivity mode in the state was not acceptable and befitting for a mega city, adding that a well-structured system would soon be adopted to address the challenge.
The governor said: “When I wake up in the morning and see all these yellow buses and see Okada and all kinds of tricycles and then we claim we are a mega city, that is not true and we must first acknowledge that that is a faulty connectivity that we are running.
“Having accepted that, we have to look for the solution and that is why we want to banish yellow buses this year. We must address the issue of connectivity that makes people to move around with ease and that is where we are going.

“For instance, people going from Ikorodu to CMS have started leaving their cars at home because the buses are very convenient and so why can’t we do that for other places? Yes, we don’t have the money to do that but we can go to the capital market and then improve on the technology of collection of fares and that will encourage investors and then the city will change.”
Ambode said he recognised cities as powerful forces for economic development and shared prosperity, stating: “This is now a generally accepted fact confirmed by economic data. Cities are the world’s engines of growth, and strikingly so in the developing world.

“In 2015, 85 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was generated in cities. In fact, for millennia, cities have been the centres of activities, drivers of growth and bastions of productivity. No country has ever reached middle income status without urbanising.
“African countries can capture an urbanisation ‘dividend’ that creates jobs, raises productivity, reduces infrastructure costs and environmental impact, supports new enterprise and shares this prosperity widely. As a result, the growth of the next large cities in Sub-Saharan Africa represents a major opportunity for business. However, these benefits are not automatic. A number of challenges could very easily derail the pace at which these cities grow and prosper and we need to effectively address them.

” The issues lying at the heart of urban policy making in any city, old or new, developed or developing includes infrastructure, employment, population growth, economic sustainability and environmental viability.
“In addition to these, there is the classic urban challenges of overcrowding, unplanned and chaotic growth, insufficient provision of municipal services, from policing to healthcare to education to electricity and sewage – all of which are top of the agenda in many African cities.
“There is perhaps no better classic example of where these challenges of rapid urbanization come to life than in Lagos. It is estimated that 86 immigrants enter Lagos every hour -the highest in any city in the world – and they have no plans to leave.

“This is because Lagos has remained over time and most especially in the last decade, the most attractive destination for those who want to realise and live their Nigerian dream. This ever increasing population of the state however means that we have to be “on our toes” to provide facilities for this more than 23 million population.”
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, said the country required leadership with sincerity of purpose and transparency to drive development.
Obiano said his administration’s investments in agriculture were yielding results, with rice production from 90,000 metric tons to 230,000 metric tons yearly.

Former Cross River State Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke said the theme of the symposium was apt considering that the country’s population would have tripled by 2050.
He praised Ambode for his achievements in office so far, saying it was obvious that the governor is performing very well and a good example of continuity in governance.
Earlier, CLV founder Prof Pat Utomi said the need to inculcate the right leadership values in the younger generation informed the establishment.
Utomi said the centre has concluded plans to build primary schools in Ikorodu, Lagos and Ibusa, Delta State to offer free qualitative education to indigent pupils.

Source: The Nation NG