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The Oyo State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese firm, CCECC for the construction of a light rail transport system covering about 24 kilometres within Ibadan, the state capital.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, which took place at the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor?s Office, Ibadan last weekend, Governor Abiola Ajimobi described the development as another milestone in his administration?s quest to modernise major cities in the state.

He said that the project was long overdue for the state with a population of over 10 million, stressing that any city with a population of at least two million required a light rail system of transportation.

?We believe that in our quest to modernise Oyo State, particularly in the area of transportation system that will consequently lead to the economic development of the state, having a light rail system is a sine qua non.

?Ibadan as a city, and indeed, Oyo State, with over 10 million people, is overdue for a rail system that can move people in large number from places to places. Rail is the largest and most effective transportation system to achieve this.

?In our repositioning agenda, we believe that transportation plays a major role in the economic development. Apart from the road network that we have established, we are also committed to the construction of the light rail system,?? he said.

Governor Ajimobi said that the state was moving up a notch with the provision of the light rail system to ease traffic congestion and reduce the cost of transportation for individuals as well as small and large scale businesses within the Ibadan metropolis.

He explained further that the light rail system would initially operate within the Ibadan metropolis before being extended to other cities in the state.

The Chief Engineer of the Chinese firm, Mr. Li Binj, disclosed that his firm did not just come to the state with cutting-edge technology, but also with the desire to transfer such to the local people, who he said, would be engaged for the project.

Binj, while giving details on the project, said it would move from Ojoo to Mokola, stretching to the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

He said that the project would cover about 24 kilometres within the state capital, adding that it would be completed within three years.

Binj, who signed the MoU on behalf of his firm, said that the project would give employment to thousands of people in the state, aside the transfer of technology to those who would be involved in the execution of the project.

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