We Have Restored The Middle Class Through A Regeneration Of The Surulere Environment -Fashola

Gov. Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State.

Gov. Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has  handed over the Gbaja Shopping Mall, the upgraded Adeniran Ogunsanya Street and Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall, declaring that the three major projects, along with several infrastructure renewal work, in Surulere are important signposts to the administration’s restoration of the middle class through its regeneration of the environment.

Gov. Babatunde Raji Fashola.

Governor Fashola who spoke respectively at the handing over of Gbaja Shopping Mall in Surulere,  upgraded Adeniran Ogunsanya Street and the Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Mall on Friday, said the gathering of people at the events reminds everyone of the middle class which was threatened by bad leadership over the nation.

The Governor said the administration started with the reconstruction of the old Adeniran Ogunsanya shopping centre, which has turned into a modern day first class mall in the neighbourhood that is now saving people the cost and stress of driving to Ikoyi and Victoria Island.

“The expanded Adeniran Ogunsanya Street that we gather to hand over today is the true dividend of democracy and continuity. Surulere, the neighbourhood where this road is sited is called ‘New Lagos’. This is where I was born, raised and educated,” he added.

He explained that road and building infrastructure at ‘New Lagos’ came to being in the 1950s when it was apparent that Lagos Island was getting congested and overstretched and there was need to relocate people to a more spacious area.

He explained that the construction of the Eko Bridge in the 1960s also contributed to the movement and relocation of affected people from Lagos Island to the ‘New Lagos’.

Governor Fashola reiterated that many years of population growth that was not complemented by infrastructure growth led first to emigration of middle class residents from the area and later businesses as the businesses that remained thrived in excruciating conditions while residents endured flooding and chaotic traffic.

Governor Fashola noted that since the regeneration started from Funsho Williams to Eric Moore Road, to Orile and Lagos Badagry Expressway, life is increasingly getting better while Akerele, Ogunlana Drive, Adelabu street and Bode Thomas Street are making steady progress.

The Governor said it is the investment which the State Governemnt has made in the Adeniran Ogunsanya road that has brought back the Adeniran Ogunsanya shopping mall.

He recalled that when the shopping mall project had some delays initially because of the fear of the original owners of the land on which the property was sited, he held a meeting with them where he assured them that their interest would be fully taken into consideration when the project is completed.

He said work is progressing at the new Tejuosho market where a total of 8000 shops in Tejuosho would be available for the public just as another 2000 stalls would be available to the members of the public from the new Oyingbo market.

Governor Fashola promised that  the present administration will replicate the shopping malls in all parts of Lagos, promising that as long as the Action Congress of Nigeria remains in power in Lagos State, the people have seen nothing yet.

He said as another election approaches, the people of Lagos should not allow themselves to be deceived into believing that the party at the centre which has mismanaged the lives of the people for the past 12 years should be handed another four years to continue the mismanagement.

Governor Fashola said it is very ironic that a party which controls the government at the federal level has found it very difficult to rehabilitate the road that leads to the busiest port in Nigeria and the same party is hallucinating about having a vision for the country.

He said in the last 12 years, a major broken promise that Nigerians have been fed with is that of provision of steady electricity, charging residents of Lagos to ask candidates of the party at the centre who approach them for votes to name the last road that was built in Lagos by the party.

Governor Fashola reminded all eligible voters that all the levels of elections are very vital starting from the Presidential where they must ensure that they vote massively for Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Governorship which must be cast for Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and the various candidates of the party in the senatorial, House of Representatives and State Assembly elections.

In his welcome address at the handing over of Adeniran Ogunsanya Street and Shopping mall, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson said the road was part of the single carriageway and now upgraded to dual carriageway with all the features such as walkway, streetlights and service ducts.

Engineer Johnson added that the road forms part of the inner ring roads of Akerele, Ogunlana Drive, Adelabu, Babs Animashaun and Bode Thomas Streets and is expected to compliment Funsho Williams Avenue, Eric Moore Road and the Lagos Badagry Expressway and enhance commerce and economic growth in the Surulere area.

In his brief at the event, the Managing Director of Lagos Building and Investment Corporation, Mr Biodun Oki said the Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping Complex which was built in 1975 for many years served its purpose but because it remained a government facility, it was difficult to charge commercial rate and this naturally affected its maintenance.

He said by the turn of the century, it became apparent that the facility needed a total overhaul which was why by May 1999, the LSDPC started a long dialogue with the tenants association such that an understanding was reached to the effect that the facility indeed needed an overhaul.

In their solidarity messages at the event, the House of Representatives member representing Surulere 1, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, the Senatorial candidate for the Lagos Central Senatorial District in the 2011 elections, Chief Mrs Oluremi Tinubu  as well as the House of Representatives candidate for Surulere 2 ,Hon Aliu Babs Kazeem all commended the foresight of the Babatunde Fashola (SAN- led administration in restoring the middle class which hitherto was on the verge of being wiped out.

They said the projects being handed over are just tip of the iceberg of what the people of Lagos should expect from an Action Congress of Nigeria- led government at all levels, asking them to continue to vote massively for the party in the forthcoming general elections.

The events were attended by Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, members of the State Executive Council, candidates of the Action Congress of Nigeria to various legislative posts in the 2011 elections, market men and women, party leaders and stalwarts as well as appreciative members of the public who trooped out to welcome the Governor who was brought up in Surulere where he spent most of his teenage years.

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