lduozee Paul, Benin Correspondent
The much talked about Trailers Transit Park located in Utekon community along the by-pass which forms part of the ECOWAS international Trade route, beginning from Abidjan to Lagos, Ore, Benin then diverting in Lokoja to Abuja and the northern part of Nigeria, has eventually kicked off.
The project which is an initiative of the Nigerian Shippers Council on behalf of the federal government, in partnership with the Edo State government, witnessed the bush clearing ceremony. This signaled the handing over of the site to the government appointed contractors, Purple View Limited and Cybersource Limited for bush clearing and pegging.
The ceremony was performed by a high powered delegation from the Nigerian Shippers Council, the Edo State government, the project contractors and elders of Utekon, the host community.
Leading the Shippers Council delegation to the scene, the executive secretary/CEO who, was represented by Mr. Izah Igor (NSC) Port Harcourt, Mr Tennessee Nnejie (NSC) Warri and Ms Bafor Okitikpi Benin (NSC). Edo State Government delegation was led by Dr. Charles Akhigbe (head, ICD/TTP and Mrs
Edugie Agbonlahor, (member, ICD/TTP).
The Utekon community on the other hand, had its Odionwere, Pa IsehienrienOgiewonyi, his second in command, Pa Aisagbonrioba Ohahuwuye, Mr.Ugbobine Omoragbon (Community Secretary), Pa. Mustapha Bello, Pa Michael Osayi, Moses Emokpae and Ogbebor Uyi, the community Liaison officer (CLO).
Speaking, Charles Akhigbe recalled that at an earlier visit to the community, he had informed them of the laudable project, and that their coming was to formally inform them that the project is kicking off with the bush clearing exercise which will be carried out by Mr Ebi Nabengi of Purple View Limited, and Mr Aloy Okino of Cyber source Limited (Survey).
Akhigne clarified that a later date will be fixed for the ground-breaking ceremony where the major stakeholders like the federal government, Edo State government and the private sector representatives will all be present. He added the project will be of great economic and social benefits to the community and sued for their cooperation.
He explained that the bulldozers are coming to site very soon to start work.
In his responses, the secretary of the community, Mr Ugbobine Omoragbon thanked the delegation and assured them of their cooperation and readiness to work with the government and the contractors to ensure the project sees the light of day.
ln an interview later, Mr OgorIzah, who represented the executive secretary and CEO of the Nigerian Shippers Council, said the project, Trailers Transit Park, which is an initiative of the Nigerian Shippers Council and located at the Utekon community, will provide parking facilities for short-breaks and long-term parking services for truck drivers traveling to the South East, South South and the North Central. It sits on a 25- hectares of land which were provided by the Edo State government.
Akhigbe described the project as an organized commercial hub that will, “greatlyenhance the financial, social and economic fortunes of the state through massiveemployment opportunities while at the same time greatly impacting on the healthand well-being of the truck drivers who at times drive for as long as 16 to18hours without proper rest, before they continue their journey.”
Theproject he added, “will provide all requisite facilities like hotels, motels,gas stations, banks, hospitals, shops for spare parts where they can fix theirtrucks while at the same time enjoy all the security apparatus and comfort theywill need.”