The Delta state Commissioner for Transport, Hon. Benson Rolland Igbakpa has reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to its policies to provide cheap and affordable transportation for Deltans, with overall infrastructure development to enhance the movement of goods and people.
Igbakpa, who said this on today, Tuesday, July 30, 2013 during the ongoing mid-term reports by members of the Delta state executive council in Asaba alsonoted that the state government has also continued to increase the number of Marcopolo Buses, TATA Buses, intra-city buses, state of the art taxis for urban taxi scheme and tricycles (Keke) to boost the existing dynamic Mass Transit Programme in the state.
According to the Delta Transport Commissioner, the state government “In pursuance of the State Government’s Policy for the provision of cheap and affordable transportation for Deltans, the State Government in 2008 fiscal year launched the State Urban Taxi scheme with 170 Taxis and 100 Toyota Hiace Buses.”
Speaking further Igbakpa affirmed that “In continuation of the programme, the State Government within the 2009 – 2013 fiscal years purchased an additional 605 Units of 18 Seater Toyota Hiace Buses for the State Urban Transportation Programme. 40 Units of these Buses were allocated to the school shuttle Bus scheme to ease the transportation problems currently experienced by primary and secondary school children who leave their homes to and from their school every day.”
Igbakpa noted that these measures were in line with the promise of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state to provide 1,000 buses for the state urban and rural transport service, adding that the state government has so far provide 705 buses which amounts to 70.05 percent of his pledge to Deltans, even as he noted that the Uduaghan-led administration was on course to fulfill the remaining 20.95 percent to complete the number by the end of his administration.
Expanding further on his mid-term score card, Commissioner Igbakpa said “In view of the Delta State Government intention of replacing commercial motorcycles commonly known as Okada! the State Government within 2011 – 2013 awarded contracts for the procurement of a total of 3,073 Units of Tricycles. A total of 2550 units Tricycles has been delivered while the State is expecting the delivery of the balance 523 Tricycles. The provision of these Tricycles is with a view of achieving optimal performance and reduction of accidents as well as other losses.”
In the area of riverine transportation, the Transport Commissioner agreed that this was very central to the three-point agenda of the state government and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the state.
Igbakpa said “In order to realize the vision for water transport which involves transforming Delta State to a State with developed water transport system that is safe, secure, effective, efficient, and environmentally sustainable for moving people and goods across the waterways, the State embarked on the several riverine infrastructure projects including the construction and completion of concrete landing jetties and two waiting sheds in nearly all the riverine communities in the state, to facilitate loading and off loading of freight as well as to be used as parks for passengers, while the waiting sheds will serve the purpose of shielding travelers from rain and sun.”
Igbakpa further affirmed that “In the bid of the State Government to fully enhance the academic and professional potentials of the riverine dwellers in line with the Human Capital Development goals of the Administration, the School of Marine Technology, Burutu (SMT) was established to train middle level manpower for the Oil and Gas Industries,” adding that “the school matriculated it’s first students in April, 2011 and offers courses leading to the OND/HND in Marine Technology, Engineering, Industrial Safety and Environmental Management Technology, Fisheries Technology and Business Administration.”
Highlighting further on the attributes of the School of Marine Technology, Igbakpa said that some of the options offered include Management Technology, Marine Engineering, Oil Administration and Gas, Ship and Boat Building, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Seamanship, Oceanography Estate Management, Survey and Geo-Information and Marine Transport, adding that the school is presently in its third academic session and has graduated it’s first set of students with OND certificates.
According to Igbakpa, “In order to provide infrastructure to cope with the speedy expansion of the school, the State Government approved the Construction of Workshop/Lecture Block at the permanent site of the school. It is worthy of note that construction work is currently on-going on the project. This complex when completed will provide facilities for all the workshops/laboratories and lecture halls for students. Other structures to be put in place at the permanent site include Student Hostels, Staff Quarters, Administrative Block and Refectory Buildings.”
Igbakpa also disclosed that the Directorate has embarked on several life saving measures with the procurement of four Motorized Extricating Equipments for victims rescue operations, which were distributed to the three Senatorial Districts at Warri, Ughelli and Agbor as well as the procurement of additional 2No. Heavy Duty (90 ton) Tow trucks this year (2013) for use on heavy-quick response to accident duty vehicles on township roads and highways.
Some of the other highlights of the Directorate of Transport as contained in the mid-term report include the construction of Bus Shelter and Lay-Bys across the state, provision of Traffic Control Devices in the areas of road safety measures through continuous survey of locations and surveillance/analysis of transport operations, fabrication and installation of Regulatory/Traffic Signs at intersections or along the Township roads and Highways to guide and warn motorists, lane marking and Traffic Census/ Study amongst others.
The Commissioner also added that the Directorate designed and completed the Fabrication and Installation of Advanced Direction Guide Signs at intersections or Highways to give motorists guided directions to neighboring Towns /Communities, as well as the installation of Led Solar Powered Traffic Light to control traffic effectively, giving rise to free flow of traffic and to avoid accidents in Warri, Delta State.
Another major mid-term achievement of the Directorate of Transport was the codification of commercial vehicles, necessitated by the incessant use of Commercial Vehicles of different categories for nefarious activities and the need to create a data base to aid the officials of the Directorate and the Security Agencies to bring the activities of the Commercial Vehicle operators under check.
Igbakpa noted that the directorate achieved tremendous success in this area as a summary of coded commercial vehicles from January, 2013 to July, 2013 revealed a total of 10,923 vehicles already coded, even as he praised delta motorists for their full compliance and warned those motorists yet to subject their vehicles for coding to do so as soon as possible.