‘Light rail project will attract more investments to Ogun’
Ogun State Government has explained that the light rail project contract it signed with the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) last week was a contractor-finance arrangement, which will open the State economy to massive investment and create employment opportunities for the youths.
The Government, in a statement by Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, also described the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, Mr. Gboyega Isiaka, criticism of the project as a “reflection of his ignorance and narrow world view about developments, even within the country”.
According to the Government, “Any economy where goods and services cannot be easily moved from one point to another is doomed and the rail system has proved to be the best means of mass movement. It is equally the easiest way to preserve, safeguard and complement the new road network now emerging in Ogun State”.
It added, “With the Federal and neighbouring Lagos State Governments commencing the construction of a light rail network , Ogun State needs to quickly key into it so as not to be deprived of the resultant benefits”.
“Ogun State, by signing the contract with CCECC is only joining a
network that both the Federal and Lagos Governments are about to create. That is why we are using the same contractor as them.
This will save money, time and ensure compatibility”, the statement affirmed.
“We are surprised that Mr. Isiaka did not know about the proposed light rail until last week. We publicly signed the Memorandum of Understanding in 2013 so that the contractor could prepare the design for us”.
The design was in fact featured prominently in the 2014 state calendar and other publications of the State Government”, the Government noted.
The government however advised Isiaka to always check his facts well before rushing to make public statements, which are unbecoming of a man aspiring to govern the State.
Olaniyonu in the statement disclosed that minutes of the Executive Council and other records which indicated that the administration had done elaborate preliminary studies and held necessary discussions before embarking on the project.
The State Government added that the statement by Isiaka describing the rail project as a misplaced priority was only a reflection of his “myopic world view which would have kept Ogun State in her 1976 state if the PDP candidate had been elected Governor”.
“We are a forward-looking, progressive administration. Our plan is to create a modern, agro-based, industrialised and developed State. The light rail project is central to achieving this”, Olaniyonu disclosed.