FG Owes Lagos N59bn On Road Repairs


The Federal Government owes Lagos State N59 billion which the government has spent to rehabilitate federal roads in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Hamzat, disclosed at the weekend that the state government had spent such a huge amount of money on federal roads which the federal government had not paid it till now.

He said the state government was talking with the Federal Government on the possibility of paying the debt, adding that the Federal Government’s team had come to Lagos to assess the work done on Federal Government’s road to ascertain the cost.

Hamzat, who spoke on his vision for the ministry, noted that the state government believes that one way to impact on the lives of Lagosians was through infrastructure renewal, saying that it would now be pursued with all aggression.

“Our agenda is not different from what it used to be, but we will get better. Our philosophy is to provide infrastructure at minimal cost and develop our human resource. We believe that the development of our bridges will boost the economy of the state,” he said.

Hamzat, however, said government has a challenge, which is getting the needed funds to build and construct roads in the Lagos metropolis.

“We have a challenge, which is finance. The ministry of Works and Infrastructure will like to do all roads in Lagos State but there is funding gap. The truth is that we don’t have enough money.

“We have financial challenge to do all roads in Lagos State. We only survive on the taxes paid by the people and we have many sectors to cater for and the money we have is being apportioned to all these sectors,” he said.

Hamzat stated that the government has designs for almost all roads in Lagos but had limited funds to meet the ever-growing demands of road construction and rehabilitation.

“Another challenge we have is that when we build our roads, people want to sell on the roads and do car wash on the roads, thus, damaging the roads,” he stated.

The commissioner added that the ministry now has a ‘roving gang,’ which moved round the metropolis to identify roads whose street lights had been malfunctioning with a bid to repairing them. “We must, as a people, take ownership of these infrastructure. Our goal is to use infrastructure development to eradicate poverty,” he said.

The commissioner said the construction of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway was progressing at a very fast speed, but that the work was being done in phases due to financial constraint.

He stated that when the expansion of the expressway to 10-lanes was completed with a light rail system, the road would be the biggest infrastructure in the West African sub-region.

On the World Bank assistance to government on road construction, Hamzat pointed out that the bank only grants repayable loans to governments, saying that there was no World Bank grant to Lagos State.

The commissioner, however, debunked rumours that the Oke-Afa Bridge is on the verge of collapse, saying that the bridge is safe as a team from the ministry has assessed the bridge.

He added that the state government was planning to build six pedestrian bridges on the ever-busy Lagos-Abeokuta Road, but noted that the government is awaiting approval from the Federal Government.

On the dilapidated Meiran Road, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson, said government has recognised the road as one that needed major rehabilitation, adding that “the road was first treated as a rural one, but now, we are going to construct it.”

Johnson also said the 4.5km Egbeda-Idimu Road is not abandoned but that the rainy season was delaying the completion of the road, adding that hopefully, the road would be completed before the end of the year.

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