By Mumini AbdulKareem and Matthew Denis
The Special Adviser to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME), Segun Soewu has divulged that the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme in Kwara State would gulp N230million.
The mass transit scheme proposal is one of the decisions employed by Governor Ahmed to improve the transportation system in the state.
The Governor’s aide, while speaking at the MSME Clinic, an initiative of Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo held at the state Banquet Hall, Ilorin, on Thursday said the scheme will commence in two weeks.
According to him, “Very recently, the state government has invested a total of N230 million in the mass transit scheme. If you look at the totality of this as we speak we have done N1.124 billion and it is not every time you see this happening.
“Fortunately for Kwara, we have developed a strong platform before now referred to as the Kwara State Micro Credit Intervention Scheme which commenced in March 2012 with the sum of N250 million.
“Subsequently N100 million has been made available for the Artisans Congress and we have bought taxis and motorcycles worth N50m and N3.2m respectively and mini buses worth N62.5 million.”
He added that N214million have been allocated to Agriculture and government has unlocked funds from the Bank of Industry (BOI) to a tune of N116 million – all totalling about N854million.
He urged the small business owners to embrace the opportunity created by the Acting President, which the state is collaborating to showcase the various potentials available.
Osinbajo, who was represented by his Special Adviser on MSME, Tola Johnson, said the rationale behind the establishment of the clinic was to bridge the gap between agencies and business owners and stimulate viable enterprises that will produce win-win situation within the business owners and relevant agencies in the country.
He disclosed that the Federal Government had partnered with notable agencies in the country to successfully drive the scheme.
Speaking further with National Pilot on the BRT scheme, last night, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Alhaji Jamiudeen Aro Yahaya said 10 buses delivered to the state government will likely commence operation in mid-March.
He said: “We are not making Jankara arrangement in terms of the maintenance of the buses but working with the suppliers on the issue. We are also working to secure maintenance for the facilities that will be provided at the bus stops and terminals.
“We are starting with 10 buses and Kwarans are going to enjoy the service because the fee will be at a very minimal cost. It is part of government’s contribution to ameliorate the economic hardship that is being experienced now.
“The delay before now had to do with the construction of the bus stops which are almost completed and terminal facilities are ongoing. Approval for funds have been sought and gotten,” he added.
Yahayah added that the buses will tentatively operate for 12 hours from 7am-7pm.
“If there is need for adjustment, we can then make necessary amendment,” the Commissioner said.
He listed the routes for the pilot scheme to include Post Office, which is the central terminal to different parts of the state such as University of Ilorin, Kwara State University, Malete, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin and Eyenkorin through airport road among others.