10th August, 2011
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday stated that plans for the inner city roads in the state is on course, stating that the big challenge is however funding to continue to keep the contractors at work and expand the scope of work that they are doing.
Governor Fashola spoke with State House Correspondents at Lagos House, Ikeja, who wanted to know why he has decided to conduct on the spot assessment of inner city roads after he embarked on an inspection of Akerele Street in Surulere.
The Governor added that it is the State Government that is working on the roads and there is a need to keep track and focus on the election promises which featured prominently inner city roads.
â€œI am just doing spot inspections to see that progress is on course and that we can finish them depending on the capacity and speed of the contractor and also depending on the big challenge which is funding. We need more money to continue to keep the contractor at work and expand the scope of work that we are doing,â€ the governor stressed.
The governor informed that currently, work has been completed on Adeniran Ogunsanya while it is on-going on many of the other projects like the Akerele road expansion, Bode Thomas, Ogunlana Drive just as plans are being concluded to start work in Aguda, Adetola, Brown, Sanusi and many of the roads inside Aguda.
â€œWe are already looking at some inner roads in Agege. Work has started in Agege, work is going on in Orile. We are also looking at inner roads in Ikorodu while Lagos Area Metropolitan Transport Agency (LAMATA) is also working on Amodu Ojikutu Street, Ibiyinka Olorunnimbe Close and Abagbon Close in Victoria Island and Iju road in Ifako Ijaiye,â€ the governor stated.
The governor explained that the inner city roads will be the focus of his administration as it tries to complete those other roads that it has started work on during the last term of the administration, adding that he has decided to conduct on the spot inspections to see that progress of work is on course and when work can be completed on them depending on the speed and capacity of the contractors.
He further explained that he was going out to assess progress on the inner roads that the state is working on, recalling that during the last electioneering campaigns, one of the issues that came to the fore was that while Government has focused on some roads, it has not focused on inner roads.
â€œMy visit last week to Badejo Kalesanwo Street was to keep track and keep focus on those election promises and electoral issues which was inner roads and to which I am committed and which I also dealt with in my inaugural address,â€ the governor stated.
â€œAt this moment, we are doing about 13 roads in Mushin and Idi Araba and that road, we inspected last week (Badejo Kalesanwo) is one of the roads in Mushin. Its construction is being disturbed by the inappropriate location of the Ladipo Mushin Police Station which had consequential drainage impact as well. We have to relocate the Police Station now and find alternative land for it because it is sitting on part of the 19 metres width of the road. We have told the contractor to start work from the other end so that by the time it gets to that end we should have moved that Police Station,â€ he explained.
The governor said he was at Akerele Road to inspect the culvert across the Akerele Canal because there was some flooding problem there during the Sunday, July 10 heavy rainfall, which was caused by the inadequacy of the culvert to discharge the velocity of water, stating that, today, we now have culverts of about 1.5 by 1.7 metres width and in a set of three which would now allow bigger flow of water in Akerele,â€ he added.
Giving an update on what his administration has so far done to give vent to the various directives it gave on people who built on drainage lines, the Governor said some work has started, stressing that it entails planning before embarking on such removal projects.
â€œSome work has already started but you know that even in demolition exercise, it is a project for the demolition team which must therefore plan on how to embark on it. Are we going to evacuate the rubble after demolition or leave the rubble at the same spot and allow it go back into the drainage and so on. Those questions must be answered and planned.
â€œYou must understand also that in the process you have to hire people and equipment. You also have to plan to control law and order during the process, so we are working off the scene now. It also entails project planning because it does not happen by accident but have to be planned, ordered, sequenced and financed.â€
Governor Fashola explained that with the kind of efforts that the number of buildings affected will require, government cannot afford to start and stop but would want to sequence it and plan them.
He said government will continue to depend on the media to help it intensify advocacy that canal setback is no place at all for anyone to build a house, stressing that they are practices that are not tolerable.
â€œThe canals take away storm water, so if any heavy rain comes and enters any house, we will take the blame. Nobody should build near any of our canals. They are reservoir of water for flooding. They are Godâ€™s natural protection for holding water during massive flood and is not a place for anybody to build a house. Anybody who proposes to sell land for you there does not like you,â€ the governor stated.
He also appealed to all people including land speculators to desist from putting peopleâ€™s life in danger by selling or offering to sell any land that is close to a canal or close to river setbacks because they are not meant for habitation.
Among the inner city roads already completed by the state government in the Orile area are Akinwande Street, Strabag Road, Abu, Kekere-Ekun, Ali Olanipekun, Ogungbesan, Austin Nwaolu, Alice Tinubu Streets, Savage Lane and Opeloyeru Street while ongoing ones include Oduche, Baale/Coker, Orowunmi, Alagba, Imalefealafia, Memudu, Alhaji Bello Tapa and Alhaji Jimoh.
In Surulere area, the completed roads include Funsho Willams Avenue, Eric Moore Street, Adeniran Ogunsanya and Mogaji Street while those on-going include Akerele Street, Adelabu/Ogunlana Drive, Aibu, Idita, Itolo and Oyediran. In Apapa, the roads completed by the State Government include Aerodrome Road, Warehouse Road, Calcutta Crescent, Abraham Adesanya Street, Itapeju Avenue and Kofo Abayomi Avenue.