The Ogun State Government has disclosed its plan to commence intra-city bus service to reduce emission and gridlock on the city roads, as part of the State Transport Strategic Plan to ease movement of the people.
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun made this known in Abeokuta, at an event organised in commemoration of the 2021 World Habitat Day, saying the Ministry of Environment had been strengthened to improved monitoring of the environment and reduce pollution, as well as the State Waste Management Authority to ensure efficient waste management.
Governor Abiodun who described the theme of the celebration, “World Habitat Day: Accelerating Urban Action for a Carbon-free World”, as apt, said the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, caused by human activities, could be worsen by the projection that the world urban population would reach 6.419 billion by 2050.
“We have prepared and started a State Transport Strategic Plan. Preparation is in top gear to commence intra city bus service to reduce emission and gridlock on our city roads, while we have also carried out rehabilitation and construction of about 272kms of critical roads State wide, as well as encourage the use of gas and issuance of permits for laying of gas pipelines, especially for commercial uses.
‘’As people continue to come into the State with its attendant effects, this administration has discovered the importance of an effective urbanisation in the discharge of good governance, which will be translated into the provision of physical development, adequate transportation, traffic and efficient waste management’’ he said.
The Governor stated that three new core competency urban planning and development agencies namely; the Ogun State Slum Regeneration Authority, Ogun State Building Production and Management Authority and the Ogun State Planning and Development Permit were created towards ensuring a carbon-free environment.
“The future of our planet depends on national, regional, local governments, world organisations, communities, institutions, the private sector and everybody working together to create a sustainable, carbon-neutral, inclusive cities and towns”, Abiodun noted.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl. Olatunji Odunlami said carbon was the building block of life and the most important element in living things, despite the causes of global warming which is an aspect of climate change being experience in the world today, pointing out that the Day was to focus on the serious issue of the impact of the urban and city activities on the ever-increasing carbon footprint and to embrace actions that would reduce it to zero level.
In his goodwill message, the President, Nigeria Institute for Town Planning, Tpl. Toyin Ayinde, opined that it was important to take the issue of environment seriously by adhering to professional advice to preserve the planet for the next generation, urging people to desist from actions and activities that deplete the ozone layer and work towards a sustainable environment.
Speaking on a lecture titled, ‘Effects of Urbanisation and Land Use on Greenhouse Gases Emission: Strategic Options for Sustainable Development’, the Guest Speaker and a former Vice Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ijebu-Ode, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, submitted that urbanisation was an unstoppable phenomenon as large number of people live in cities.
Oyesiku said daily activities of human beings led to an increase in global temperature in the recent decades and the death of about two million people as a result of natural disasters.
In her address, the United Nations Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd. Sharif, who spoke through virtual, said there was a need to review planning as it affects construction work, saying it is important to key into renewable energy to save the environment.
His counterpart in the Special Envoy on Road Safety, Jean Todt, who represented the United Nations Secretary General, said four million people live in the cities, as urbanisation continues to shape the world, urging the people to continue to strive towards a carbon-free world.