The University of Ilorin has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Intramodal System Consortium Limited for the construction of a tram transit system for the university.
Prof. Wahab Egbewole, SAN, the Vice Chancellor, of the University of Ilorin, signed the MoA on behalf of the university, while the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Intramodal, Mr Adekunle AbdulRazaq, signed on behalf of the consortium.
Speaking at the event on Monday in Ilorin, Egbewole expressed his optimism on the possibility of the project.
He explained that all stakeholders in the university, including staff members, students, and management eagerly anticipate the swift realisation of the tram transportation system.
He added that the MoA would mark the inception of an exemplary model that other universities in Nigeria would emulate.
The vice chancellor underscored the extensive deliberations that had taken place between the university and the consortium over several months, affirming their mutual commitment to ensuring the project’s successful execution.
He pointed out that the deliberate choice of an MoA instead of an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signifies their unwavering dedication to making this vision a reality.
“We deliberately chose MoA instead of MoU because we are committed to this process.
“Both parties believe that it is doable. That is why we are signing an agreement, not just an understanding. I hope and pray that this process will come to fruition,” he said.
Egbewole stated that the tram transportation system initiative is aimed at enhancing mobility within the university’s bustling campus and offering a convenient and efficient mode of transportation for students, staff and visitors.
He added that the development represents a significant stride in addressing the university’s transportation challenges while reinforcing its commitment to enhancing the overall campus experience.
Speaking, AbdulRazaq, CEO of the consortium expressed excitement on the ground breaking agreement signed with the university.
He appreciated the prompt response from the university authorities after their initial discussions and noted that the MoA represents a pivotal moment in the pursuit of a pioneering campus transportation solution in Nigeria.
Acknowledging the potential challenges that could be associated with such a pioneering project, he stressed the transformative potential of such scheme,
“This is a pioneer project in providing transportation solutions on any campus in Nigeria, and I know we might encounter some challenges, but when we get it done, it will signpost a new frontier in campus solutions,” he said.
AbdulRazaq detailed the forthcoming steps, which include collaborating with relevant university departments to develop a work plan by the end of October.
“The project’s development study will promptly commence, focusing on aspects such as defining the route alignment, cost estimation, planning the number of stops, infrastructure relocation, traffic patterns, coach capacity, electrification, and other necessary infrastructure requirements,” he said.
AbdulRazaq, who is also the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the consortium acknowledged that the conventional project development processes in Nigeria could be time-consuming due to bureaucratic hurdles.
He however expressed confidence in the consortium’s ability to navigate these challenges effectively.
He explained that there is no tram system in Nigeria, but he has experience with railways, which are far more complex than trams.
“The cost differential cannot be ignored because we need to make it economically viable. Railways are not economically viable but socially desirable and typically subsidised by institutions.
“Trams can be more cost-effective, and we are considering the student, staff, and visitor population at the University of Ilorin. We aim to establish a viable solution,” he said.h
The Intramodal boss emphasised the tram’s potential for efficient and eco-friendly public transportation to address the university’s transportation challenges and expressed enthusiasm about leveraging on a wealth of transportation experience to pioneer this project.
AbdulRazaq also said that the consortium’s intention was to collaborate with the original equipment manufacturers in the transportation sector.
This, he said, is with the aim of developing an innovative infrastructure solution that can serve as a blueprint for other Nigerian universities grappling with similar transportation issues.
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