9th October, 2023
By Henry Oladele
The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, on Monday, lamented that the 81km Lagos-Abeokuta expressway has turned into a death trap, making life unbearable for thousands of users as a result of long-term neglect by the Federal Government.
“The condition of the expressway is embarrassing, and with the return to democracy since 1999, the citizens of our dear States keep wondering if the route is attracting enough government attention,” MURIC said in a Save Our Soul(SOS) message to President Bola Tinubu.
In the statement signed by Lagos and Ogun Chairmen of the group, Dr Busari Ademola and Alhaji Jimoh Alao, MURIC asked the federal government to revisit contracts awarded for the construction of the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.
“The road which was first constructed more than 40 years ago by the Muritala-Obasanjo regime linking over 200 communities has made
“The contract for the reconstruction of the road was re-awarded in 2018 to some construction companies but to date, no significant progress could be seen,” they said.
The chairmen, in the statement, said that the road experience along the Ijaiye-Alakuko axis of Lagos via tollgate, Sango, Ifo, Itori, Papalanto and Obada near Abeokuta, was brutal and painful with so many deep holes.
“Therefore, we call on President Tinubu and relevant authorities and agencies to expedite action in constructing a viable, motorable and secure expressway to save the lives of Nigerians.
“We equally sympathise with thousands of Nigerians who are regular users of the road despite its unbearable state of dilapidation.
“We urge them to be hopeful, the relief is inevitable as the governments of Lagos and Ogun will find a lasting solution to the deplorable condition of the expressway without further political bureaucracy,” the statement said.
The federal government on Aug. 31, proposed to jointly rehabilitate the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressway with the Ogun State government.
The proposal was made by the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, during a courtesy call on Governor Dapo Abiodun in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
The minister was on a tour of federal roads in the State, along with officials of the ministry.
Umahi, while responding to Governor Abiodun on the frustration experienced by Ogun and Lagos States during the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to get the road done, disclosed that the period of bureaucracy in road construction in the country was over.
Umahi noted that if the Federal Government is looking for corporate organisations to get involved in road construction and management, state governments should not be denied the same opportunity.
He said, “Let me say something about the frustration you had while you and the Lagos State government wrote to take over the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road. Let me announce to you that it falls under our new programme, the High Way Development Management Initiative. It is a public-private partnership programme.
“People should begin to look at a state as a corporate entity. If you are looking for investors to come and invest on our roads; to construct, to own, to maintain and toll, why shouldn’t a state do that?;” the minister said.