By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – DEPUTY Governor of Edo State, Comrade Philip Shaibu has said that the state government was working hard to decongest the Apapa Wharf and move some commercial activities from Lagos to the state through the Gelegele seaport.
Comrade Shaibu who said that the Federal Government has given approval for the establishment of the seaport further stated that feasibility study has been done and Memorandum of Understanding, MoU signed.
The Deputy Governor who spoke to Vanguard after the recent commissioning of projects implemented by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State said that the Edo State Government has planned to overtake Lagos in terms of infrastructural development.
He said that the State Government has revamped the transport system and had placed order for 75 buses to help the intra transport system of the state.
He said, “We have always worked with Lagos and we have always have things in common with Lagos especially in terms of development from when Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole was governor till now we have shared everything in common.
“In terms of infrasture, we always look forward towards doing same things that Lagos is doing and in terms of facility management, tax reform we have been working together and we are not ashamed to say that we want to be like Lagos State if not better than Lagos state in terms of infrastural development and internally generated revenue.
“We are challenged and we want to emulate things that are happening in Lagos and also we want to help decongest Lagos that is why the administration of Godwin Mr. Obaseki has decided that the Gelegele port must be a reality so that the Apapa Wharf will be decongested and some of these commerce will be moved to Edo state.
“Edo state being in a very strategic area in the map will be will be a hub to also help to galvanize commerce in Nigeria when the Ginigini Seaport is ready.”
Giving details on the stage of work at the proposed Gelegele Seaport, he said, “All the MoU have been signed and the approval we seek from the Federal Government has been done. Feasibility study also has been done it is commencement that is left.”
On what the state government was doing in health and transport sector, he said, “We have ECTS and also we are rebuilding our bus terminal just like Lagos has done and we are already having areas where the bus terminals and designs are ready.
“Last year we also launched the modern Edo City Buses which are already on and we have placed order again for another 75 of such buses to also help the intra transport system. Edo City transport is also being revamped.
“In the health sector, what we are simply doing is to concentrate on Primary Healthcare and we are also dealing with all issues of immunization. We are already having about 20 prototype health centres that we are rebuilding and we are using 20 health centres as a study.
“What we gain from those 20 that we have rebuilt would now make up to entering the other areas. We have two hundred and something of them that we need to deal with and we believe that when we are able to deal with the issue of primary healthcare and get primary healthcare closer to the people, we would have helped to decongest our secondary healthcare system and tertiary healthcare system.
“The basic thing that we are lacking is that everyone wants to go to the general hospital and we are taking this closer to the people. It is one of the pillars that we have decided to deal with in our government just like we are dealing with the primary school system, the basic education.”