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How Multimodal transport will aid $400m agro-industrial processing zone in Ogun

By Azeez Olorunlomeru
27 November 2022   |   2:27 am
With the groundbreaking of the $400m first phase of development of Ogun State Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ), the state will enjoy a multimodal transportation system...

With the groundbreaking of the $400m first phase of development of Ogun State Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ), the state will enjoy a multimodal transportation system that allows the link of rail, road and airport exports.

 
The $800m project would be the biggest investment in Nigeria, with the first phase said to be worth $400m. The project is an integrated development initiative designed to physically concentrate agro-processing activities at scale in order to leverage and harness the high agricultural potentials of the State.
  
The SAPZ will fast track the ongoing industrialisation of the state by boosting productivity and by integrating the production, processing and marketing of carefully selected commodity value chains that will enable agricultural producers, processors, aggregators and distributors to operate in the same environment.
 
The Special Agro-Processing Zone is expected to improve production cost efficiencies through shared infrastructure and facilities, which in turn increase the productivity competitiveness of agricultural value chains.
 
According to Ogun State Commissioner for Transportation, Gbenga Dairo, close proximity of Ogun with Lagos, which itself is now growing beyond the geographical mass of what that the state can contain, there is a quiet overflow into Ogun State and the vision of the state is to develop Ogun into the extent that it can pull and attract investment in to Ogun State.
  
Dairo said there is an economic team set up by the governor, which is identifying economic clusters across the state.  
 
“Where we are today in Remo cluster, is one of those six clusters across the state and this particular cluster is going to house the Special Agro processing zone (SAPZ), which in fact is a brainchild of the Federal authorities, they have identified about eight SAPZ centres across the country and Ogun State is just one. In fact, this SAPZ is one of them to now reach this landmark milestone, the ground-breaking exercise that we are conducting today.”
 
To make the SAPZ effective, he said it must have connections and modal transportation access. “So that wise, this particular zone is going to house the Agro-Cargo Airport which is already developing and we hope that by the first quarter of next year, the first aircraft will begin to land and operate from this airport.
  
“As you know in our country, build any road and you see what happens after you build that road, development springs up, that is the same effect this airport is going to have around this area.” 

Dairo noted that to drive the initiative, the government established a Transportation Master Plan (TMP) through which the Ministry of Transportation, as the coordinating ministry, formulates policies and performs its regulatory roles in conjunction with specialist agencies and parastatals.

“Unlike other states that have banned motorcycles and tricycle taxis, para-transit operators are, part of Ogun State’s current transport system, with the government committing to developing the capacity to reduce the attendant risks. This is besides the provision of walkways and cycle paths, especially along new road developments to make non-motorised transport attractive.

He further pointed out that the plan will also provided a policy that would address the haulage and logistics side of operations in the state as well as issues of safety, tonnage and volume that must be transferred to other modes outside road traffic.

“Central to the new policy, which would elapse in 2047, is the provision of metro-bus services not only servicing the capital city shuttles, but also the other contiguous towns such as Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Sango-Ota and Ilaro”.

Dairo also revealed that programmed for expansion, reconstruction and rehabilitation are inter-town roads to highway standards, construction of bypasses around major towns and cities to highways standards, township roads reconstruction, provision of trailer parks and provision of interchanges and junctions.

He added that some of the new roads, upon completion, would be tolled, while junctions around Abeokuta, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, Ota and Ilaro, would get new traffic signals, traffic management control centres, responsive incident management, and the installation of automatic number plate recognition technology to enhance road efficiency.

“The government has begun inter-city bus, road transport, taxi services with a pilot phase of Bus Mass Transit from Ita-Oshin to Adatan, with more to connect its other cities; while inter-city and intra-city bus services such as Abeokuta-Sagamu, inter-state services to connect with Lagos and Ibadan and the transformation of parks and garages to terminals and introduction of bus mass transit Ota to Oshodi to Abule-Egba.

“For rails, the Ogun State TMP hopes to connect with the Lagos Red Line, which terminates at Agbado, and extend the train service to Ijoko, Kajola and Ifo. The Lagos Blue Line, which would extend its second phase from Mile 2 to Agbara, and the Purple Line, which would link the Redeemed Camp to Berger, would equally be extended to the Sagamu Interchange and from there to the Gateway Agro-Cargo Airport.

“On the national trunk, the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s East-West (Lagos-Calabar coastal rail) network is expected to have spurs (branch lines) at the Gateway Agro-Cargo Airport and Olokola Deep Seaport; while the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail (LISGR) has stations at Itori, Obada Oko, Osiele and Odeda, with proposed spurs to Wasimi and Kajola Inland Container Depots.

“For waterways, the state’s TMP proposed to connect the East and the West ends of the state through the Lagos lagoon, Badagry and Five Cowrie Creeks. Among communities to be served by the waterways are Ipokia, Ado-Odo and Ota, Odogbolu, and Ogun Waterside area. For air transport, Ogun State is currently constructing an agro-cargo airport at Iperu-Remo to enhance effective connectivity for international, regional and local cargo and scheduled air traffic within the country and the West Africa cluster.

“For the Governor, the medium to long-term aim of the plan is to develop a framework that would provide inter-modal transportation for its six urban centres of Ijebu-Ode, Abeokuta, Sagamu, Sango-Ota, Ilaro, and create a non-motorised transportation policy that would engender cleaner environment. Similar to Lagos that has the School of Transportation, (LASU-SoT), Ogun, partnering with the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (UK-FCDO), is pushing its manpower development needs through Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU).

The state, according to Dairo, intends to pursue the integration of all transport modes that would ensure the development of railway and water transport service infrastructure that would connect with Bus Mass Transit (BMT) and provide last-mile connectivity for citizens of the state from the main arteries to inner city roads and their homes.

President, ARISE Integrated Industrial Platforms, Gangan Gupta, said the company has invested in several African countries, including Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Gabon, Rwanda, Republic of Congo, amongst others, saying his company was happy to be in Ogun State and ready to build an industrial platforms capable of transforming the economy and contributing to industrial development of the state.
 
Minister of Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, described the project as a landmark and a step forward in the economic revolution of Nigeria. 
 
He added that SAPZ would help in agri-industrialisation and create jobs for the people, noting “this is going to be a regional trading hub.”

  
Also, President, AFREXIM Bank, Benedict Oramah, attributed the peace and security in Ogun State as key factors that attracted Arise Consortium to it, and commended the governor for creating an enabling environment for both local and foreign investments in the state.
  
Chairman, the Senate Committee on Industries, Adetokunbo Abiru, also described the project as an example of how the private sector could be harnessed for the economic development of Nigeria, expressing confidence that the SAPZ would boost the agricultural value chain, raise revenue, create jobs and boost exports.

Chairman of the African Finance Corporation, Sumaila Zubairu, said that the project sitting on 5,100 hectares of land would change the landscape of Ogun State in 18 months.
 
“Through value-addition like this, we can create jobs and wealth. We will continue to play our role in enhancing the industrial development in Nigeria and Ogun,” Zubairu added.