The Enugu State Government has unveiled the first phase of the Transport Infrastructure Project (TIP) which includes several world-class bus terminals, transport interchanges, logistics hubs, city gates and rail stations across the state, saying they would provide over 11,000 skilled and semi-skilled jobs for the youths and also attract at least ₦47.5 billion investment to the economy.
This development, which was contained in a press statement personally signed by the State Commissioner of Transport, Hon. Obi Ozor, Sunday, added that the state had taken 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.
“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 optimizing 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 urbanizing and growing population of the state,” the statement reads in part.
While explaining that the project would be strategically distributed across major hubs in the state for maximum economic impact, the Commissioner noted that 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.
The statement further revealed that 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.
“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”, the statement added.
Explaining further that the Enugu Central Station is strategically positioned to accommodate millions of commuters, utilizing both road and rail transportation, Obi Ozor said that it holds tremendous potential for the Southeast, controlling about 41% 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.
While noting that major stakeholders whose properties could be affected, especially the Nigerian Railway Corporation, had already been engaged by the governor with plans of compensation and assistance by the government, the commissioner 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.
“The current market area has become a notorious hub for criminal activities. The project reconfigure the layout, minimising hidden spaces and fostering a more secure environment to discourage criminal elements”, the statement noted.
Obi Ozor, who disclosed the official signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between his ministry and the China Rail and Bridge Company (CRBC), said the strategic partnership aims to establish a 382km rail infrastructure to foster the integration and economic prosperity of the Southeast.
On the state government’s relationship with the Nigeria Railway Corporation, 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.
“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 emphasized.
Stating that a considerable number of stakeholders had expressed support for the interchange project given its potential benefits to the community and the statement at large, the statement assured of the ministry’s commitment to transparent and inclusive process in all its development projects.