The University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) in conjunction with Intramodal System Consortium Limited has sought to construct a train transit system for the university.
Both parties signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) on Monday, with UNILORIN represented by Professor Wahab Egbewole, the Vice Chancellor of Unilorin, while, Mr Adekunle AbdulRazaq, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Intramodal signed on the consortium’s behalf.
In his remarks at the event in Ilorin, Egbewole expressed optimism about the possibility of the tram line project. He further explained that the staff members, students, and management of the institution are eagerly anticipating the swift realization of the tram line.
Speaking further, the Unilorin VC said that the MoA would mark the start of an exemplary model that other universities in Nigeria emulate.
Egbewole highlighted the expansive considerations that had taken place between Unilorin and the consortium over several months, affirming the commitment of both parties to ensuring the project’s successful execution.
According to Egbewole, the deliberate choice of an MoA instead of an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) symbolized their unwavering commitment to ensuring the project was actualized.
In his words,
“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.”
Potential benefits of the tram line system
The VC disclosed that the tram line system, upon completion, would enhance mobility within the university’s bustling campus and offer a convenient and efficient mode of transportation for students, staff, and visitors.
Furthermore, Egbewole said that the tram line transportation initiative represented a significant stride in addressing transportation challenges experienced within the institution’s campus while reinforcing its commitment to enhancing the overall campus experience.
Details of the project
In his remarks, the CEO of the consortium, Mr Adekunle AbdulRazaq expressed excitement on the MoA signed with Unilorin, adding that the agreement represented a pivotal moment in the pursuit of a pioneering campus transportation solution in Nigeria.
Acknowledging potential challenges that could be associated with such a pioneering project, AbdulRasaq emphasized the transformative potential of such an initiative, saying,
“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.”
According to the consortium’s CEO, Intramodal System Consortium Limited would collaborate with relevant university departments to develop a work plan by the end of October.
In his words
“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.”
AbdulRazaq, who also serves as the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the consortium, remarked that the conventional project development processes in Nigeria could be time-consuming due to bureaucratic hurdles, but said he was confident in the consortium’s ability to navigate these challenges effectively.
He noted that there is no tram system in Nigeria, “but I have experience with railways, which are far more complex than trams”.
AbdulRazaq underscored the viability of trams as a more cost-effective, eco-friendly, and efficient public transportation model suited to address the university’s transportation challenges.
What he said:
“The cost differential cannot be ignored because we need to make it economically viable. Railways are not economically viable but socially desirable and typically subsidized 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.
“The Intramodal boss emphasized 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.”