24th October, 2012
The deplorable condition of federal roads in Lagos state, Southwest Nigeria, has become a cause for concern among members of the state House of Assembly.
The lawmakers have therefore called on the Minister of Works, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the state works corporation to look into the matter to avoid situations where some communities are cut off from the state.
They also said this intervention would save the state and its residents more deaths resulting from accidents.
The lawmakers said they believed that most of the traffic gridlocks experienced in the state were as a result of the deplorable state of the roads.
They particularly mentioned the Ikorodu/Itokin Road in Parafa axis, Ikorodu-Shagamu Road from FERMA office to Odogunyan axis, which the lawmakers claimed have become almost impassable and that communities around the area could be cut off soon if nothing urgent is done concerning the roads.
It is common to see potholes and bumps on most of the roads, making commuters and motorists pass through harrowing experiences daily.
They accused FERMA of receiving money from the Federal Government and instead of mobilising to site, the agency waits for the state government to repair the same roads.
The lawmakers raised the concerns when a member representing Ikorodu Constituency 1 at the House, Sanai Agunbiade, cried out under matter of urgent public importance that some communities in Ikorodu were being cut off from the state as a result of the poor state of roads in the affected area.
Agunbiade lamented the daily troubles experienced by residents around Agbowa, Imota, Itokin axis of the state, describing the roads as an eyesore.
He said he had taken photographs of the locations and sent copies to the Speaker.
He also said he was personally going to send some copies to President Goodluck Jonathan so as to make him know what the people of the state were passing through.
“Some months ago, we noticed people working on the Sabo-Itokin Road, but now the work has been abandoned. Because of this, no one can come from Agbowa to Lagos through Ikorodu because the road has been completely cut off from the state.
“Lagosians won’t know that it is the Federal Government that abandoned the work. Despite the fact that FERMA headquarters is located along Ikorodu-Shagamu Road, they have refused to put the road in good shape,” he said.
He said he attempted to put some palliative measures in place to alleviate the suffering of people plying the road but that FERMA immediately sprung into action when it discovered this and abandoned it soon after.
He urged his colleagues to help call on the federal government and FERMA to perform their duties on the roads.
However, his colleague, Rotimi Olowo from Shomolu Constituency 1, advised that the state Public Works Corporation be called upon rather than the federal government.
“It is better for us to call on our Public Works Corporation (PWC) to put palliative measure in place because what we have to consider is our people and what they are going through,” he said.
Olusegun Olulade, who said his constituents are the most affected, pleaded with his colleagues to come to his rescue, complaining that he might soon find it difficult to reach his constituents or even attend sittings if nothing urgent is done to repair the road.
Contributing, Bisi Yusuf, another lawmaker, said that a more radical approach which would involve Obas, Baales, civil society organisations and stakeholders should be taken in persuading the federal government to take steps concerning the problem.
The House, therefore, called the federal government, FERMA and the State Controller of Works as a matter of urgency to attend to and provide solution to the deplorable state of federal roads, particularly the Ikorodu–Itokin Road, Ikorodu-Epe Road, Ikorodu Shagamu Road, and Ikorodu-Laspotech road.
The resolution is also to be forwarded to the state representatives at the National Assembly, the state Commissioner for Works and relevant state agencies for prompt attention.
By Eromosele Ebhomele