Ikeja bus terminal undergoes repair six months after Buhari’s commissioning
Six months after the Ikeja bus terminal was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari during his first state visit to Lagos State, rather than being put to use by the state government, it is being refurbished.
Ironically, it was the same terminal being touted as one of the best things to have happened to Lagos in terms of public transportation, reason it was dubbed world-class bus terminal and not bus-stop, especially after critics questioned the rationale of a president commissioning a ‘bus-stop’.
Many had looked forward to experiencing the ‘world-class’ terminal, especially with the new mass transit buses parked in the terminal. But as the days went by, the hopes ebbed away. Reason: About a month ago, the buses were evacuated and to the surprise of many who ply the Ikeja-airport route, the interlocking stones were uprooted and a number of other things within the terminal were readjusted.
Weeks after the commissioning, following a barrage of queries about the non-use of the terminal, the state government stated that it would become operational when the buses being imported arrive.Also, two months after the commissioning, while explaining why the terminal is not yet operational, the Commissioner for Transport, Ladi Lawanson, has a different reason for the delay. He said its functionality is hinged on other uncompleted terminals being built across the state.
“It is true the bus terminal was commissioned but those are two components of a very holistic approach to solving Lagos’ transportation problem. There are issues of bus shelters because when those buses take off from those terminals, they are meant to drop people along the way. Some of those places are those shelters, which are still under construction.
“The ones at Oyingbo, Yaba and Oshodi are not ready yet. When the buses take off from one terminal, where should the bus drop a person who is going to Oshodi, when the terminal is not completed? He further explained that route planning, mapping and assigning of routes to buses still needed to be completed before the operation starts. “All these components have to be brought together to ensure that the system is set up to work efficiently and seamlessly.
When The Guardian got in touch with the Commissioner for Transport, he did not reply to the messages sent to his mobile phone. However, the public relations department of the ministry said all enquiries should be directed to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) because the ministry is not aware of the renovation.
The Public Relations Officer of LAMATA responding to a text message sent to him, said: “It is not being refurbished. It is being retrofitted with components that had to wait for buses’ arrival. Now that operation is soon to start, the components have to be fitted.”
The Ikeja bus terminal will serve as the hub of all transport activities within the Ikeja Zone, serving over 50,000 passengers daily and providing access to many destinations, including Oshodi, Ojota, Iyana-Ipaja, Maryland, Agege, Ogba, CMS, Obalende, and Iyana-Ipaja.
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