ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE HONOURABLE COMMISSIONER FOR TRANSPORTATION COMRADE KAYODE OPEIFA AT THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN ENGINEERS OF NIGERIA (APWEN), LAGOS STATE CHAPTER ANNUAL PUBLIC LECTURE & AWARD HELD ON THURSDAY 7TH AUGUST, 2014 AT THE SHERATON HOTEL & TOWERS, IKEJA.
It is my pleasure to join the entire membership of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Lagos State Chapter in welcoming participants to the 2014 Annual Public Lecture and Award with the theme – Infrastructural Development in Sub-Sahara Africa: Opportunities amidst Challenges.
The adopted theme for the public lecture for this year cannot be more than apt since the development of Infrastructure in any area of the economy is a catalyst for socio-economic growth. Like many economic activities, that are intensive in infrastructure, the transport sector is an important component of the economy impacting on development and the welfare of population. When transport systems are efficient, they provide economic and social opportunities and benefits that result in positive multiplier effect such as better accessibility to markets, Jobs improve logistics and additional investments.
Lagos State is proud to be the economic hub of Nigeria and other West African countries and as such planned a transportation system which acts as catalyst for the huge expected economic activities. The Lagos State Government, realizing the importance of transportation in sustainable development, is therefore committed to the transformation in the transportation sector and industry through the Ministry of Transportation and its various Agencies committed to the provision of safe, efficient, reliable, integrated multi-modal transportation system for sustainable development with the participation of the private sector.
In the transportation sector, infrastructure provision remains key to an efficient transportation system and it is not negotiable. Transportation itself which is the management of the free flow of people, goods and services from one point to the other entails such modes as Rail, Road, Water, Air, Telecommunications, Pipeline, Conveyor Belt, Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Transportation Infrastructure therefore is not limited to just hardware such as highways, Rail Tracks or Jetties but the more complex arrays of Logistics Software, Programmes, Applications and the less suspecting furniture such as Traffic Signal Lights, Pavement Markings, Kerbs, Medians, Buoys, Signals etc that make distribution and movement more functional.
The development of these arrays of Hardware, Software and Complex and Functional Infrastructure is thus critical to a sustainable development.
For me the topic is apt as we in the Lagos State Government no longer see challenges but opportunities that must not be missed.
Distinguish Lady Engineers, in the last sixteen years we have invested in various infrastructure to support an integrated multi modal transport system, such as the planned segregated lanes for our BRT System over 20, 000 Road Signage’s to support our Road Traffic Law compliance, over 100 Traffic Signal Lights to complement Traffic Management, Pavement Markings of over 200 Roads spanning over 202 kilometers to ensure road discipline and improve road safety, Lagos Traffic Radio for improve road use planning, education and advocacy, school Traffic Safety Advocacy Programme for Primary and Secondary School Children to develop infrastructure of the mind and of the future, our Driver Institute to correct errors of the past and to ensure professional chattered drivers for road safety and recently our Lagos State Public Transportation System Database platforms for proper management of our public transportation system. I cannot but mention that we will not be fulfilled until the mother of all our rail track infrastructure is delivered to more millions of our people daily, East, West, North and South.
I can go on, but more importantly is to thank you for recognizing in the midst of you all female but male engineer. I appreciate the recognition and wish the association and the conference a fruitful deliberations