…project begins with Kada, Ekiosa/Sakponba Road junctions
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Monday, flagged off the first phase of junction improvement works to ease traffic within the Benin metropolis.
Obaseki, at the flag-off in Benin City, said the project will commence with Kada Junction, Sapele Road, Oredo Local Government Area (LGA), and Ekiosa/Sakponba Road Junction in Ikpoba-Okha LGA, and will be extended to other areas within the metropolis.
The governor said, “We are trying to make sure we move to modernity in the way we manage our transport in Edo State. We are in a junction town in this Country.
“Traffic must come from the East, West, North, and South-South as well as everywhere across the country but because we have failed to do what is expected of us and the remarkable growth experienced in the state, traffic has become a challenge. As a responsible government, we are planning to improve the transportation system in Edo.
“For over 500 years, our city has been well designed even before the British came. We have a well-designed town; traffic should not be a problem. People say we should build flyovers to solve the traffic problem in the state, but you have heard from the experts today. Flyover is not a solution anymore but with technology, we can manage our transport by having an intelligent transportation system.”
He added, “This project is not for us alone to do but in partnership with the two transport unions, the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN). You have always been our partners since we started this administration and always given us information about the challenges of the traffic situation and other challenges in the city and now that we want to solve the problem, you must be our partners in solving it.”
Obaseki said the project is in line with the government’s 30-year urban renewal plan for Benin City and 30-year regional plan for Edo State, noting, "As we leave, we will leave a plan for you where Edo is going to, and anybody coming after us will be held to follow the plan as we didn't meet any plan on ground.”
He further stated, “This project is part of the overall plan to make Edo attractive as the State is too dirty. We will collaborate to clean up the city and green the land. Part of our plan before leaving the office is to make sure Edo is clean and green. We are not dirty people in the State, as traffic improvement is part of cleaning and making sure the entire city is clean.
“The unions, NURTW and RTEAN have a huge responsibility to help us control and manage traffic in this City. EDSTMA can't do the job alone. We have told them to respect our citizens but the report we get of an attack on our EDSTMA staff is not encouraging and we will not allow that.
“We will continue to build more roads to decongest traffic, especially in Ikpoba hill and other areas in Edo State. It's our responsibility to create an enabling environment for businesses in the State to thrive and do well.”
Obaseki added, “We have done the first phase of trying to patch and build as many roads as possible. We are not stopping but will continue with that. The next phase is to make sure we now put an intelligent transportation system to control traffic so that one can predict how long to move from one point to another.”
In her welcome address, the Managing Director of Edo State Transport Authority (ESTA), Mrs. Edugie Agbonlahor commended Governor Obaseki for the laudable initiative to address traffic challenges in Edo.
“Eight junctions have been identified and approved for improvement within the city, namely Kada Junction, Sapele Road; 3rd Junction, Ekiosa Market/Sakponba Road; Adesuwa Junction, Sapele Road; Textile Mill Road Junction by Siluko Road; New Benin Market Junction; Owoseni Junction, Mission Road; Dawson Junction, Mission Road, and Vegetable Market Junction, Airport Road.”