By Idowu Bankole
As the multimillion dollars Oshodi Bus Interchange begins operation, Nigerians have raised questions on sustaining and maintaining the edifice as well as provide adequate security to safeguard lives and valuables of commuters and facilities within and around the bus terminal.
Recall that Vanguard, had last week Wednesday, given an exclusive coverage of the commencement of operation of the bus terminal, which had about 60,000 reaches and over hundreds of reactions, viewed around the world. Reactions have continued to trail the construction of the Bus terminal. One of such reactions has been centred on maintaining the edifice and ensuring adequate security around the facility after the terminal has been handed over to the government for operation.
Security in and around Oshodi, an area notorious for a high level of theft, pilfering and other criminal vices, has been a major concern for many who reacted to Vanguard’s report on the Bus terminal operation.
Aside from maintenance and security questions raised, the issue of power was also brought to the fore. According to Issac Oyenuga, who commented on the Vanguard report, questioned the functionality of the bus terminal without uninterrupted power supply to ensure its optimal operation. According to him, “This bus terminal equipped with the modern electrical gadget will require a constant supply of power to keep it functional, how can that be achieved in a country where epileptic power supply is the other of the day”, he concluded.
Speaking with the project manager, Mr Shamsudeen Lawal, on how the project will be sustained, Vanguard gathered that there is an ongoing construction of a shopping mall adjacent the second terminal, which operates the interstate route. The provision of this shopping mall will, Vanguard learns, eventually rid the axis off miscreants hideout by dismantling shanty structures which houses criminal elements in the area.
According to Lawal, “we are constructing another structure at the moment – a shopping mall to ensure that commuters have world-class experience of what a bus terminal should look like. More so, that will ensure that the terminal is developed with modern structures and facilities, Such that shanty structures will make way for modern infrastructure and by that, miscreant activities will be a thing of the past.”
On security, Lawal stated that “A security post will be constructed and manned by security guards who will be on their post 24hours. In addition, a police detachment will be posted here as soon as we begin full operation. But as you can see there are few of Mobile policemen around to check matters relating to security” he concluded.
Power was one of the issues raised by Nigerians who reacted to the report on the vanguard, speaking further, Lawal told vanguard that, “Alternative power supply has been provided to ensure issues of power shortage is arrested to forestall breakdown of operation in the terminal”.
Some of the other reactions also centred on bad roads and capacity to ensure the successful running of the Bus terminal.
Alexfor Emzor, one of the commenters says, ”It is a very beautiful thing and wonderful to see that this project is going in progress, like I have said before we really commend the government for this, but one thing I still say is that the way it functions and the way we use it, we want to believe that everything will be orderly and very respectful way that is for the citizens, then for the management let it be sustainable and grow from this level to much better level, for we here in the Europe we have seen and experience how it is here.”
In a different opinion, Ikenna Iwuchukwu says, “Train and underground railway system is the solution for Lagos transport chaos. Not this buses that will park up in one or two month’s time”.
Sustaining the terminal, many believe will depend on the incoming government of Babajide Sanwoolu’s ability to put in place measures that will ensure the project thrives through continuous maintenance and funding.