By Abiodun Oluwaseun LAUREL, a Member of GSM Advocates
Governor Seyi Makinde was right when he tagged this second term an era of sustainable development having completed the accelerated development phase between May 2019 to May 2023 which saw to monumental growth across all facets in Oyo State.
Drawing reference from all projects and activities of the Seyi Makinde’s led administration, one can predict that the whole Omituntun mantra is about building smart cities through innovative and resilient infrastructures.
The focus of this piece would be on the newly introduced pacesetter card (Omituntun card) which happens to be the rave of the moment designed to be the new face of transport service in the State.
No doubt, the Chairman/Sole Administrator of PTS, Hon. Ibraheem Oladeji Salami Dikko has made a tremendous and positive turnaround to the unit thereby gradually turning it to a real revenue house in achieving the sustainable development goal of His Excellency.
So far, public opinion has revealed that the card is gaining acceptability amongst the populace with the people welcoming this new phase with all happiness.
1) A Lasting Legacy : The Makinde’s ideology is still a scalable idea and still selling amidst the citizens of Oyo state just as the administration has had so many landmark achievements and impacts in other sectors which has endeared him to the entire citizen of Oyo state. Commuters believes the Pacesetter Card will stand tall and span across all social stratification and cities in Oyo State. It will be something to bank on in attracting future investors to the State.
2) Digitization of the Public transport system: Much has been said about the reforms of the government regarding this sector and more expectations are centred on creating an agency that would see to the sector’s activities separately so as to fully harness its full potential. The Pacesetter Card is a right step in the process to completely digitize the activities of the sector to improve the internally generated revenue of the state emulating other smart cities in the world.
3) Supporting and Developing locally built Tech Solutions : A little research shows that the cowry card through touch and pay technologies in Lagos State which is the parent company producing the Pacesetter Omituntun Card is a company built by an indigene of Igboora Ibarapa Region of Oyo State. Olamide Afolabi and his team are all graduates of LAUTECH and they all started from Ogbomoso with Sanwo card piloted by eateries and LAUTECH teaching hospital which later metamorphosed into the Cowry Card in Lagos and Pacesetter Omituntun Card in Oyo State. Their success story signifies the amount of tech talent in Oyo State and the qualities in our tertiary institutions. The adoption of this solution and innovation further proves the readiness of the GSM administration to support technological solutions and helping them to scale to national and international standards.
4) Enabling Environment for Investment to thrive : The administration has promised to construct 1000km of roads before it’s expiration to connect all zones and cities in Oyo state. Having a digitized public transport system and payment solution leads to accurate prediction for the market through data, blocking of all leakages and transparency in handling of funds these would interest investors to pump funds into the public transport system.
5) Adequate Data for Economic, transaction and Speculative Planning : The use of the Pacesetter Card would avail the state Government more accurate data to help their plans for subsidies, palliative measures in the transportation sector, these data also help to design infrastructure for the sector.
6) Fulfilling the Sustainable development goals 8,9,11 of the United Nations
Goal 8 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 9 – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 11- Promote sustained inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
The Pacesetter Omituntun Card is a sustainable transport scheme that will definitely create job opportunities, promote innovation, help in economic growth, revenue assurance and improved numbers and help our cities to become smart cities, these are all in tandem with the listed goals of the United Nations.
In conclusion it is understandable that more innovations are in the pipeline and the entire citizens of Oyo State can not wait to experience the reality of a digitized and highly innovative environment. The citizens can not wait to see His Excellency launch the Pacesetter Card and to continue to raise the bar of Governance.