LEKKI PHASE 2: NTDA Fools Gov Fashola

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) was at Lekki Phase Two Estate yesterday to deliver nine roads built by a Chinese construction company.

The ceremony, which kicked off two hours behind schedule, was well attended by commissioners and special advisers, local government officials and residents of the estate.

As was the custom of the governor, he spoke about the significance of the roads, in the context of the efforts to provide infrastructure in the state. But when he veered into the other facilities that government had provided for the estate, residents present wondered if the governor was not talking about Victoria Garden City or Cooperative Estate in Badore, all private estates.

In the governor’s words, Lekki Phase Two has been provided all amenities required to get on with life.

“The water supply is ready, the electricity cables and poles are ready. Transformers have been installed and the street lights are on.”

The Governor added that one of the things observed by the government is that allottees were not coming to develop their land and this prompted government to intervene and locate one of its residential estates-Elegushi Housing Estate within the scheme in order to begin to populate the estate.

Governor Fashola observed that since he last visited the estate, some allottees have responded by developing structures on their land, a development which he observed as a sign that the investment and policy of the government are all working.

Residents of Lekki Phase 2 were quick to point out yesterday that the glowing impression Governor Fashola painted about the estate was far from reality.

To begin with, the estate which Fashola said has ‘water supply ready’, is yet to see any water flowing from government source.

Residents draw water from boreholes as the government’s water company is yet to start functioning, making people wonder why government spent hundreds of millions in building the water facility in the first instance.

True, there are indeed electricity poles and cables in some areas, but there is no electricity running through them. P.M.NEWS also found that many of the poles have not been connected with cables.

Yesterday’s show when the street lights on the roads commissioned by the governor were switched on was a mere deception to fool the governor—the New Town Development Authority and the contractors actually brought an electricity plant that powered the lights.

According to residents, people started moving into Lekki Phase Two about eight years ago. Despite the erection of electric poles and cables and transformers, there was no electricity supply in the estate until three years ago, after the residents frantic efforts to beg the PHCN to power one of the transformers then in place, bore fruit. Many of the other transformers that government on paper thought were in place and ‘working’, had been vandalized.

Today, there is only one transformer supplying electricity to residents and it was not the one that powered the street lights on Road 100 yesterday, P.M.NEWS learnt. The transformer is so overworked, so overloaded, that almost every other day, PHCN engineers carry out one repair after another on the transformer.

P.M.NEWS learnt that residents who attended the event yesterday itched for an opportunity to give the Governor an untainted report of the state of the estate, but they were completely blacked out.

Those who hoped that the governor would enter their estate through Road 14 or Road 15 or Democracy Road, were left disappointed as the NTDA officials took the governor’s convoy via the new roads just completed, giving the deceitful impression that all was well in the estate. Governor Fashola would need to visit the estate without the guided hands of the NTDA officials to see how many of the roads and bridges in the estate have fallen into disrepair, into very terrible shapes.

Road 14, the first access road to the estate from Ogombo Road has two major gullies that can swallow a truck. In the rainy season, as it is now, it is a forbidden road to residents and motorists. Road 15, now named Muis Banire Road is also in bad shape and that is the second access road to the estate. When it rains, residents usually make a detour to reach their homes. Road 4, that serves as a main artery of the estate, is also falling into bad shape, with gullies emerging at several points.

The Lekki Phase Two estate, in the opinion of many residents of the estate, is a good example of the shoddiness of bureaucrats in the state. At a time, when Nigerians live under security scare, the residents in this estate are open to attacks from many flanks since about 10 roads, lead into the estate, four alone from the abutting villages.

At a meeting residents held with the NTDA officials about 16 months ago, the need to fence the estate and centralize the entrance was raised. But they were told the matter had been sent to Governor Fashola for approval. Two state budgets after, the residents are still waiting for action.

The security lapses as P.M.NEWS learnt may just be one of the primary reasons allottees are not moving into the estate, as the Governor expected.