A simple observation will show that transportation challenges develop alongside population explosion in most mega cities of the world. New Delhi – a megacity in India tripled the number of its buses since the mid-1980s when the number of consumers increased from three million to nine million.
Another megacity with dire transportation problems is Mexico City, where 30 million residents commute daily with only 16% of them using private transportation leaving 84% vulnerable to traffic jams mostly resulting from poor road system.
In Tokyo, where the increase in economic growth has created an increase in traffic, commuters overburden the efficient trains, subways and buses and being capital to a leading car manufacturing nation, Tokyo is full of cars which needs more and more highways. Mumbai is atypical of many of the world’s mega-cities as the growing population has placed tremendous strain on the city’s transport infrastructure. Everyday over 200 trains make about 2000 trips along 300km of track carrying more passengers per kilometre than any railway in the world.
With more than 23 million inhabitants and a growth rate of 3.2% per annum, Lagos is one of the largest cities in the world. The growth of private vehicle ownership combined with reliance on commercial vehicles has resulted in the challenge of traffic congestion in Lagos. According to 2015 statistics, the number of vehicles on Lagos roads are 2,000,000 which represents 25 to 30% of cars in Nigeria, there is an increase of vehicles by 100,000 vehicles per annum. The Old BRT was numbered at 100 while the new BRT was estimated at 434. The Mini buses (Danfo) had over 145,000 registered with taxis estimated at around 7,000 and motorcycles estimated around 100,000 plying Lagos roads.
The challenges of transportation in Lagos which includes inadequate infrastructure and alack of maintenance of transportation systems shows that the transport sector is underdeveloped, compromises on passengers’ safety and results in an aesthetic depletion of the state. Again, is the highly porous and unregulated nature of the transport sector in Lagos which has a low entry barrier. This leaves room for untrained and unruly individuals to control the transport system in the state resulting in reckless and dangerous driving. It is currently estimated that there are about 2,600 km of roads in Lagos that are frequently congested with over 1 million vehicles plying the roads on a daily basis and this has constituted an upheaval task for traffic management agencies in Lagos state.
It is in a bid to address this challenge and proffer better working and living conditions for the people of Lagos state that the APC Gubernatorial candidate is vying for the position as the number one man in the state. The man Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu seems an eligible candidate due to his years of experience in the public service sector having worked with the progressive government of Lagos state about 20 years. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has a track record of performance in the public sector and has participated in major economic projects including the privatization and commercialization of several Federal Government-owned companies and parastatals. He also spear-headed the preparation and publication of the Lagos State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (LASEEDS). He is reckoned with as a natural leader with strong people skills and is well versed in the principles of inclusion and equal representation in the interest of all.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu has held positions in Lagos state as the acting honourable commissioner for Economic Planning and Budgets, commissioner for commerce & industry, Honourable Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Pioneer and Board Member, Lagos state security Trust fund and MD of the Lagos state Property Development Corporation. In the private sector, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has held Senior Management roles at Lead Merchant Bank, United Bank for Africa and First Atlantic Bank (now FCMB) and has entrepreneurial experience in the real estate, power and aviation sectors of the economy.
Concerning traffic management system in Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s manifesto targets a reduction in traffic congestion by resolving key grid lock points within 6 months. He will continuously fix all potholes and maintain Lagos roads all year round and will decongest traffic by connecting more communities with new link roads and bridges.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu also aims at providing intelligent transport systems to optimize the transport network and complete strategic ongoing transport projects for the multimodal transportation system. He will speed up the implementation and integration of the multimodal system which integrates rail, water and bus modes as specified in the Lagos State Strategic Transport Master Plan while creating and enabling a Lagos Volunteer Corp to help with traffic management in Lagos.
It is a known fact that a lot of time, energy and mental resources are wasted as a result of traffic congestion and Lagosians are resigned to traffic grids as a necessary evil which has become a part of their lifestyle. It will therefore be a welcome and relieving change to actually have a government who can aggressively combat traffic grid locks and restore Lagos to a place of pride as a city where people desire to live in.