On behalf of the people of Lagos State, I welcome His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, to the commissioning of this modern edifice which signposts our commitment to reforming our public transport infrastructure and management in our State.
Mr. President, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in the last three years we have committed to revamping and providing a new integrated transport system to support our growing population. We have initiated and completed the provision of infrastructure that are scalable and would support the daily needs of our people to meet their connectivity and mobility needs.
The Ikeja Bus Terminal is one of our flagship transport infrastructure under the State Bus Reform Initiative. The first phase of this programme will see 13 new Bus terminals introduced including major terminals at Oshodi, Yaba, Ojota, Agege and the already completed Tafawa Balewa Bus Terminal.
We have commenced the introduction of 5,000 new buses into the Lagos economy in the next 3 years. We will inject 820 environmentally-friendly high capacity buses in the first phase of this reform by September 2018, 300 New Bus Stops, 3 Bus Depots, and Intelligent Transport System which will aid Lagosians to plan their journeys on our public transport system.
On behalf of the people of Lagos State, I want to publicly acknowledge the approval of Mr. President, for the import-duty waiver received on the buses in the Phase One of this programme with a further step that the next phase will be assembled here in Lagos to create jobs for our people. Our goal is to have the Assembly Plants within the next 20 months in Lagos.
Our concentration is not only on bus/road transportation. We are promoting Non-Motorised Transport such as walking and cycling paths to give our people modal choices while promoting healthy living.
Work is ongoing on the 27-kilometre Blue Line Rail project from Okokomaiko West of Lagos to Marina in Central Lagos. We are in discussions with various investors and stakeholders on our urban rail project, the Red Line from Alagbada to Marina.
Mr. President, the success of a highly populated, cosmopolitan smart city-State like Lagos is strongly dependent on the efficiency of its transportation system. We are committed to a functional, efficient and integrated transport system which will support our population and facilitate our commerce. We will continually work till we achieve this objective and we will always count on your usual support, Sir.
It is now my great pleasure to invite our President, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to formally commission the Ikeja Bus Terminal.