Nigeria To support Ghana In Bus Rapid Transit

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Nigeria has assured Ghana of its technical support for the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), soon to be piloted on some roads in Accra, Ghana's national capital.

The selected roads are Graphic Road through to Kaneshie, Odorkor, Mallam to Kasoa in the Central Region.  

At a stakeholders forum organised by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), regulators of the BRT for Lagos, for a 35-member Ghanaian delegation, Mr Tayo Orekoya, the Permanent Secretary for the Lagos Governor of Transportation,  described  the decision by Ghana to visit Lagos to learn the BRT system as being in the right direction.

“We are ready to come to Ghana when you start this project to give you all the support and advice that you would need,” he stated

Lagos is the first city in Africa to have successfully implemented the BRT scheme.

With a whopping population of an estimated 18 million people, the impact of the BRT is already significant, transporting some 8,000 commuters  daily.

Outside Africa, the BRT is a major public transport in cities such as Bogota in Colombia, Port Alegre and Curitiba in Brazil.

“Although you have visited other countries, I believe that choosing Lagos is a step in the right direction, since the two cities share similar aspirations and challenges,” Mr Orekoya said.

The four-day trip was organised by the Department of Urban Roads. Some transport operators, especially the GPRTU are resisting the BRT because of fears that,  once the BRT became operational, its members would lose their jobs.

The Member of Parliament for Ketu South, Mr Albert Zigah, who led the delegation, thanked officials of LAMATA for the warm reception accorded the delegation and also for the willingness of the authority to share freely its experience over the few months that it had operated the BRT.

“We have been to other countries but I must say that this reception  has been exceptional,  we are very grateful for the enormous information you have given us,” he said.

With the population of Accra pegged at about five million, Mr Zigah was  hopeful that Ghana's implementation of the scheme would be smoother “having learnt the strengths and weaknesses of LAMATA.

“I hope that our implementation of the BRT would be more perfect than yours,” he said.