Ogun Explains Role On Federal Roads

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Ogun State Government has appealed to motorists plying Ibafo axis of the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway to be patient and show more understanding while they await the decision of the Federal Government and its concessionaire, Bi-Courtney, to either urgently carry out repair work on the failed portion or allow the state government to intervene and save the situation.

The government stated that the road in question is a federal road and earlier intervention to alleviate the suffering of the people using the road had been frustrated by federal agencies.

Arc. Lekan Adegbite, Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure explained that the policy of the Ibikunle Amosun administration is that there is no federal citizen, but there are Nigerians resident in each state of the federation and thus anything that brings inconveniences to the people resident within Ogun State must be attended to by the state government, irrespective of whether it is a federal government responsibility or not.

Adegbite noted that this policy informed the decision of the state government last July to repair about 500 metres of a failed portion of the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, opposite the Redemption Camp.

“The 500 metres portion of the road we repaired remains the best and smoothest on that entire Lagos–Ibadan Expressway. Even while we were on site, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen was on inspection tour and he stopped to commend our efforts.

“However, after we completed the road, Bi-Courtney Highway Services Ltd. wrote a letter dated August 2, 2011 to the Federal Ministry of Works in which it termed our repair on the road “unauthorised entry” and “illegal exercise” aimed at “frustrating their legitimate effort to conduct a proper palliative measure on the road.”

The company also called on the federal Ministry of Works to forestall any unauthorised entry or activity on the expressway and its right of way. In its reply to the concessionaire’s request, the Federal Ministry of Works through a letter dated 24th August 2011, signed by Engr. C. M. Ugwenyi, an Assistant Director, directed the state government “to obtain consent from the concessionaire whenever it wishes to provide any services within the expressway.”

Adegbite explained that the implication of all these correspondences is that the Federal Ministry of Works acting at the behest of the concessionaire on the road, Bi-Courtney, is bent on preventing Ogun State from carrying out any repair work on the road.

The state government had been actively intervening to make federal roads domiciled within its territory motorable and with no inconvenience to the people as evidenced by its repair works on the bad portions of the Abeokuta–Sagamu road, a section of the Lagos–Abeokuta Expressway at the foot of the overhead bridge in Sango, Owode–Ilaro road and the Asero–Obantoko section of the Abeokuta–Ibadan Road.

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