By Adejuwon Osunnuyi
The Lagos State Government has said that arrangements had been concluded to transform the Tafawa Balewa Square(TBS’s) Bus Terminal into a world class tourist attraction.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Dayo Mobereola, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting organised by his Ministry in Lagos on Friday.
At the stakeholders meeting, which included members and executives of the NURTW and the RTEAN, traders, politicians and residents, among others, Mobereola said that redevelopment was part of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s efforts to further enhance the state’s mega-city project.
He said: “The reason for this redevelopment is to actualise the vision of his Excellency, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, in his strive to make the state a real mega-city.
“To affirm this, there are some infrastructure that are to be in place.
“TBS stands for Lagos State. It is a rallying point for us, so we want to beautify it more and make it a tourist centre.
“It is very important and imperative to make the terminal a world-class edifice, so that when anyone comes to this place, they will bow and respect the state,’’ Mobereola said.
The commissioner said that the purpose of the meeting was to seek the opinion of stakeholders and to carry them along.
“We need your contributions to make it better. We are just going to make the place an ultra-modern terminal for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses, taxi operators and passengers.
“What we want to do is to protect all during the rainy and hot seasons. Everyone will have its own section: Danfo drivers, BRT and taxi operators, so that passengers are not confused where to go.
“What we are doing is for the benefits of all. When it is completed, it will be enforced,’’ he said.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Anofiu Elegushi, added that the purpose of the project was not to displace the operators.
“We are ready to receive your inputs, comments and advice. Our intention is to re-arrange. It is not an intention to take over your operations, but we need your support to move the state forward,’’ he said.
In his presentation on the project design, Mr Bolaji Bada, the Director Transportation Engineering in the ministry, said that the project would have a hightech fibre to provide shade.
Bada said, “The weight of the material is approximately one per cent of glass, which make it light enough to withstand any weather condition. It is dust and repellant-free and can serve for 40 years.
“This technology has the ability to transmit light when illuminated from above at night, so it will be spectacular, of high architecture and colourful, with a lot of land spacing for a standard terminus.’’
In his reaction, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, the Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), who lauded the project, urged that the government should be cautious of disrupting people’s sources of income.
“I want to appeal that you do not displace the operators and traders when the project is eventually completed because they are of immense benefit to both passengers and their families,’’ Agbede said.
Mr Hammed Okunuga, the Chairman, Road Transport Employers’ Association (RTEAN) in Lagos Island, said “we appreciate this as we have been looking forward to it, but let it not be that you want to take over what we feed our families with.’’
A private pack operator at TBS, Alfa Abolore, urged the government not to displace entreprenuers who have been making a living in the area.
He noted that for instance, his fear is that government would displace his business when the project begins.
However, in his response, Mobereola, said, “no stakeholder should be fearful. We will not take your source of income. We must do it together.
“We may have to relocate people that might be affected because by the time we are done with TBS, you will tell us to go and repair Obalende. Obalende is not up to our standard.
“We need your support because of the inconvenience it will bring during execution.”
He added that the facility would include enhanced security and maintenance features such as Closed Circuit Television, small retail shops for selling snacks and soft drinks as well as world-class toilet facility.
Mobereola said works on the project, which is expected to last nine months, would be started this week Monday.
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