The clock is, no doubt, fast ticking for the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration in Kwara State. The administration which rode to power on the mantra of ‘O to ge’ — enough is enough — promised quality governance and a departure from what obtained in the ugly past. One year down the lane, any objective assessor will give due credit to the regime for changing the narratives. Though Kwara is not yet Uhuru, it’s clear to everyone, except the willfully blind, that we are not where we were a year and some few months back.
Developmental and transformational strides are ongoing across the length and breadth of Kwara State, especially to clear the rot and mess inherited from the previous handlers. Reconstruction and rehabilitation projects here and there. All these are being attested to even outside of the state as the governor continues to receive accolades nationally and internationally.
However, there are still sectors that have not been well-travelled and explored by the AbdulRazaq administration. One of such is the transport sector, especially land transportation. Verily, transportation is a sine-qua-non in all societies of the world. Human beings and goods move from one place to another for different reasons. It is also a huge income-generating venture for governments. This is why the sector continues to receive public interventions and attention.
One of the focal areas where President Muhammadu Buhari has scored several points is the transportation sector, especially his revivification of the rail system which has comforted a number of people. The same could also be said of former governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode’s Ikeja Terminal which is a good sight to behold.
Despite his many failings, former governor AbdulFatah Ahmed would not be forgotten so soon for his MST/Soludero initiative. It was a project that brought ease to the doorstep of the crowded student population of the University of Ilorin and other Kwara-based academic institutions. Just like any government project, it drew a lot of criticisms at the time, but it has no doubt significantly and positively impacted on lives. And this is the hallmark of governance! This, therefore, takes us back to the poser: What’s AbdulRazaq doing differently in the transport sector? Or he just wants to spend his administration without leaving a mark there?
Since his times in the office, so many had been said about him. In education, economy, security, media, infrastructure, water, and lots more. But a huge vacuum still exists in transportation. As we read from the media, the governor has given attention to the rehabilitation of structures and projects in other sectors, but the transport sector. What’s the government doing about the moribund Kwara Express?
Kwara Express used to be at the forefront in times past, but is now a shadow of its former self. Are efforts to restore its lost glory as done to state-owned media houses on course? It seems the sector has been neglected. Many people move out of the state from time to time. The sector gets huge patronage during festive periods and NYSC camping periods. So obvious is it that many people get stranded when virtually all parks are loaded and filled with no commuter bus available.
We discovered that Kwara Express pay salaries by themselves. But they are struggling to keep up. The AbdulRazaq administration can still do something differently in the transport sector by looking into the travails and operations of Kwara Express, to make it competitive. By this, the government will not only assuage the challenges faced by the masses during inter-state travels, but also accrue more revenues into the state’s purse. Also, private lines notorious for exploiting travellers would be given a run for their money as the state-owned transit would also serve the role of price control.
It’s high time the governor focused on the transportation sector to further assuage the worries of the people. Thankfully, the state minister for transportation, Gbemisola Saraki is also from Kwara State. A collaborative effort will be no Herculean task. AbdulRazaq has truly started brightly but he should further step on the gear.