The newly constructed 4km first phase of dualised Ago Palace Way, Lagos with street lights, service ducts and walkway during Governor Fashola’s inspection tour with members of the State Executive Council on Sunday, June 8, 2014. INSET: Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle), Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola (2nd right), Special Adviser, Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson (2nd left), Permanent Secretary, Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins (left) and the Resident Engineer in-Charge of Ago Palace Way, Engr Wole Sotire (right).
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Sunday, 8th June, 2014, inspected the on-going housing projects under the State’s Home Ownership and Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS) as well as Isolo Road all in Mushin and the Ago Palace Way in Okota with an appeal to residents of the area to make needed sacrifice in order to finish the road this year.
The on-going housing projects inspected were the five-unit Lagos HOMS at Olu-Aina, Mushin with a total of 60 flats consisting of one, three and four bedroom flats. The Olu-Aina Lagos HOMS is more than 60 percent completed. In addition, a new Lagos HOMS site on Dibor Way, Isolo, was also inspected.
Fielding questions from journalists after the inspection of the completed 4-kilometre stretch of the road built with service ducts to prevent cutting, street lights and walkway, the Governor explained that the seeming delay in completing the Ago Place Way, was due to the fact that a lot of engineering work and urban planning were needed in order to design a proper transport solution in the area pointing out that the road is situated in a densely populated area of the State.
“There has to be a study; where were people going? They were going to Apapa, they were going to Itire, they were going to Surulere, they were going to Mushin, they were going to Mile 2, to Amuwo-Odofin. So how do you connect all these people; without that study you can’t even design a transport solution”, the Governor said.
He said people who thought the road should have come earlier were ignorant of the engineering and urban planning that was needed adding, “Where would the traffic have emptied into, onto the expressway?
“And that was why it was important to first build the Okota Link Bridge so that we can reconnect about seven local governments who all needed to go through Mushin-Isolo Way. That was how difficult it was to commute then. There was virtually no road in this part of Lagos when I was elected Governor in 2007”.
Noting that a lot of planning had to go into the design of the road, the Governor expressed joy that the planning stage was now over adding, “The Okota Link Bridge is finished, Ibe Road has been finished many years ago; it was a pain before, now it is a pleasure to drive through”.
Also noting that work is yet to finish on the road, Fashola, who pointed out that his administration undertook the construction of the road without any pressure from anyone or group, however, expressed dismay that government ran into difficulties along the line because people did not want to give up their properties when there was need for expansion of the road adding, “They wanted a road but nobody wanted it to pass through his house. So who is going to sacrifice for the public?
“There were court cases; but in the even almost 4 kilometres have been completed. The last phase now, which is about 3.4 kilometres, will give a total of about 7 kilometres of dual carriage way, which in effect is about 14 kilometres road construction really in the most densely populated part of town”.
Giving kudos to both the contractor and the government team, Fashola declared, “We are constructing while people are travelling and going to work and trading. This is really a nightmare in urban redevelopment. But we are achieving it because we planned, because we are committed and because we are focused”.
The Governor appealed to residents to make the needed sacrifice in the interest of the general public if they needed to give up their properties in order to expand the road pointing out that the contractor was now on site and has promised to finish the road before the end of this year.
“The contractor is on site to finish the last phase. He says they can finish it before the end of the year. But it is going to depend on the community, whether or not they want him to finish the work by the end of the year. There are structures that need to give way in order to expand the road”, he said.
Fashola, however, warned, “But if people take us to court we will stop. That is the deal and that is why I have come here to appeal and to explain. People have to sacrifice in order to get a better life”, adding that there is need to expand the width of the road in other to accommodate the anticipated volume of vehicular traffic”.
The Governor noted that some residents were now happy about the road adding that no sooner had the first three phases of about 4 kilometres been finished than people have started parking on the road which, according to him, “they refused to allow us to expand.
“Now nobody is complaining about this anymore. I can see placards now, ‘God Bless you BRF’, but it was a lot different when I came here last year; but it wasn’t our fault”, he said adding, “Now I hope that our critics and opponents will see the elite that we serve. Our elites are in Okota, they are in Mushin and they are in Isolo. But work continues. We will meet them at the elections”.
Accompanying the Governor on the inspection were Chief of Staff, Mr. Lanre Babalola, Commissioner for Housing, Hon. Bosun Jeje, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson, his New Towns Development Authority and Housing counterparts, Mrs. Felicia Awofisayo and Hon. Jimoh Ajao and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins and his Housing counterpart, Mr. Olatunji Olusoga Odunlami, among other top government functionaries.