The Bayelsa State Government says plans are in top gear to complete the Ultra-Modern Motor park project at Igbogene which was started by the immediate past administration.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo gave the indication at the weekend during a meeting with representatives of Etegwe- Tombia Junction Traders Association, Road Transport Employers and Workers unions at the Government House, Yenagoa.
In a statement by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor underscored the importance of the project, which he noted would help to decongest and improve the city status of Yenagoa.
According to Senator Ewhrudjakpo, the present administration is desirous of completing the Igbogene Motor park to enable it implement an efficient inter and intra-city transport system.
He maintained that when completed, the central motor park would not only enhance the aesthetics of the state capital but also checkmate the activities of criminals in Yenagoa and its environs.
To this end, the Deputy Governor urged the relevant state officials including the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure to immediately visit the Igbogene site with the transport union representatives to put up a temporary structure for use.
He said urgency is attached to government’s move to relocate the market and motor parks at the popular Etegwe-Tombia Roundabout to ease traffic in the area, preparatory to the take-off of commercial operations at the state airport.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who solicited the understanding and cooperation of those doing business in the area, advised them to prevail on their members not to take the laws into their hands.
While assuring them of the present administration’s commitment to creating a congenial business environment, he said government would provide a more suitable place for both unions to carry out their activities.
His words, “Government is for all of us, and so, our doors are always open for you. So, we will appreciate, you get in touch with us through your leaders each time you have issues. Protest should be last thing you do.
“We are working to see that we relocate you from that Tombia area to a more comfortable place to do your business. The last time we met, I think we delegated the Commissioner for Land and the former Commissioner for Trade and Investment to go with you to check the site you suggested.
“But I was told the place is on Shell’s right of way. And you know, it is risky for you to do your trading on it. Some government officials will go with you again. If there is any reasonable space left from where the pipeline ends, we will sand fill it for you to use.
“For the motor parks, you know that everywhere in the world where there is civilization, there is what is called inter and intra-city transport system. That is what we are planning for Yenagoa.
“Our desire is that all those motor parks there (Tombia Junction) will be moved to Igbogene where we will have our central park. This means every passenger coming into Yenagoa, will first alight there before taking service into town.
“Do you know the importance of that? It will help us to checkmate all the criminals who come in with their vehicles from outside and Rob people in the name of running town service.”
In their separate remarks, the Acting Chairman, Tombia Junction Traders Association, Alhaji Dahiru Yau and the State Chairman of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, Mr Chris Adokeme, pleaded with government to provide an alternative for their relocation.
Also speaking, Patron of the Traders Association, Mr Biggy Obesi, expressed gratitude to the Deputy Governor for his proactive measures and assured him of a better working relationship between Government and the Association.
Those who made strong submissions at the meeting included, the Secretary to the State Government, Rt Hon. Konbowei Benson, Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Governor’s Office, Barrister Alex Dumbo, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, CP Akpoebi Agberebi.
Others are the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief Federal Otokito, the Technical Adviser to the Governor on Conflict Resolution, Chief Boma Spero-Jack and the Acting General Manager of Bayelsa Transport Company, Mrs Perpetual Wellington.