Oyo Can Do Without Bus Terminal | Bayo Busari
The four bus terminals approved for construction by the Oyo State government under Engr. Seyi Makinde is a grandiose, elitist project that has no bearing on the wellbeing of the vast majority of the citizens of the state who live “from hand to mouth,” to quote the governor himself.
One is quickly reminded of a similar project, the beautification project embarked upon by the government of Senator Abiola Ajimobi during his first term in office, which ended in monumental waste.
No doubt, governments the world over, finance developmental projects but this is based on critical need assessment, economic impact of such projects on the state as well as promotion of economic wellbeing of the citizenry. It is doubtful if any these was on the table, as the government reason for embarking on the project at a time when the purse of the state will definitely become lean as a result of the economic impact of a post-Covid-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of healthcare system all over the world, as countries struggle to battle with the pandemic. A thoughtful government should be concerned now with massive investment in the healthcare sector rather than concerning itself with the construction of parks, which in the first instance is within the constitutional purview of the local government.
In the first instance, the financial layout for the source of the whooping N48b is yet to be spelt out. Who does the financing? Who will be the managers of the parks; or are they going to handed over to the hand-picked park managers as another pecuniary benefit? What is the payback structure?
Going by the pronouncement of the governor, Engr. Makinde in recent time, one is afraid that the project may go the way of the Iwo Road interchange, which is yet to take off after months of its public announcement.
Also, the park manager arrangement this government has exposed the system as a surreptitious ‘job for the boy’s as the touted revenue source for the government was dead on arrival. The old order, where select individuals are feeding fat on government source of legitimate revenue still reigns. The proposed bus terminals will no doubt go the same way.
Governor Makinde should do a rethink and redirect the N48b earmarked for the bus terminals to the construction of toilet facilities for the rural dwellers who still defecate in the open, a cankerworm that has become a source of worry to WHO.
Equally, part of the money can be invested on opening up of rural and the agrarian communities to better their lots and further reduce rural-urban migration with construction of rural roads, provision of potable water, rural electrification and construction of more healthcare centres.
If all these do not catch the attention of the incumbent government, the education sector is crying for dire attention. Classrooms are in a state of disrepair, schools do not get running grants as at when due while infrastructures are non-existing. These are areas government should focus on at this critical and austere time, and not construction of bus terminals that will have no telling effect on the state if they are not constructed.
Dr. Bayo Busari, JP, is a public affairs analyst
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