Being a speech delivered by His Excellency Seyi Makinde, at the Commissioning of the Challenge and Ojoo Bus Terminals, Ibadan, on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.
I promised omi tuntun, are you experiencing omi tuntun?
Today is an exciting day, and I am delighted to be here, joined by my brother, His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki. I want to especially thank His Excellency for journeying down from Edo State to be with us on this day as we commission two of the four bus terminals that we embarked on building about two years ago.
One of the things we knew Ibadan needed when we came into office was an effective transportation system. I remember how we went round and spoke to you, the good people of Oyo State, in 2019, just after we came into office. We made a case for having to demolish some buildings around here, and I thank you for listening to us then.
We could not have accomplished any of these things without your support.
So let me stop and say, thank you, my people, e seun, adupe. Thank you for keying into this vision.
Of course, not everyone was seeing the big picture as we were. In fact, some people said the project was a misplaced priority, and they created lists of other projects that they thought we should have prioritised. Well, we knew better because, in our quest to engineer a modern Oyo State, we always relied on data, science, and logic.
The data showed that it was time to build a modern alternative to the existing transport system in Oyo State. Oyo State receives heavy traffic from all over the country. By virtue of its location, Ibadan has always been that town where travellers can layover either on their way out of the southwest or into the southwest. The data said it was time to build on that comparative advantage.
Science supported the data; Oyo State has traditionally been a nodal region, and that geographical fact was not going to change. If anything, the growth in the population of Nigeria was going to further support the need to turn our comparative advantage into a competitive advantage.
And when science and data align, logic always follows.
We knew that we needed funds to carry out some of the other projects we were embarking on. Federal allocations have been dwindling over the years. We needed reliable ways to ensure that the state’s Internally Generated Revenue remained stable and grew enough to support further development.
So, we invested in projects that could yield returns into the state coffers, such as the rehabilitation of the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, the ongoing Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hubs, and these bus terminals, which we are commissioning today.
These terminals are not just about boarding buses. What we have done here is build a standard bus terminal as can be obtained anywhere in the world. This is why it comes equipped with amenities that will support economic activities and tourism.
We are building a legacy.
At this point, the question some people will be asking is, how will it run? Who will be in charge? We hope it will not turn out like other government projects that will become moribund in no time. Well, we have taken some steps to ensure that this will not be the case. So, we are going the public-private-partnership route in a sustainable manner.
The commissioning of these two bus terminals at Challenge and Ojoo marks a new dawn in transport systems in Oyo State.
We are committed to redefining good governance in Oyo State. With each project we commission, we continue to raise the bar. Yes, some people say this is the bare minimum, but if we can ensure that going forward, the good people of Oyo State reject anything less, then we can rightly say, “Our job here is done.”
And on this note, I will yield the podium to my brother, the Executive Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki. After which we will commission the Ojoo Bus Terminal, and inaugurate the Omi Tuntun Mass Transit Buses. And then, take the maiden bus ride to Challenge and also commission the Modern Terminal at Challenge to the glory of God and the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
Thank you, and God bless you.