114 roads: Give us more, residents tell Ambode
In the last one week, the Lagos State government has been pre-occupied with the commissioning of inner roads, executed across the state under the 114-Road Project initiated by the Akinwunmi Ambode-led adminstration.
The roads spread across the 57 local councils and local council development areas, with each of them having two.
Within the period under review, Ambode commissioned about 10 of them daily, through representatives, which included party leaders, legislators and cabinet members among others.
As the exercise continued, two comments that kept resonating, especially among residents were appreciation for the newly constructed roads and the compelling need for many more to be constructed.
The need to construct more roads, is given credence with dilapidated and potholes-riddled roads leading to the newly constructed ones. In one of them, the road that flows through the council secretariat has several sizes of potholes dotting it.
At the commissioning of Bolaji Benson and Adeniji Oluwakemi roads in Ikorodu Central Local Council, Chairman of Community Development Association (CDA), Mr. Kola Oyekanmi, and the Chairman of Community Development Committee, (CDC), Alhaji Lukman Shonibare, commended the governor for the construction of the two roads within the area. They, nevertheless, maintained that there were still more roads to be constructed and rehabilitated within the axis. “We need more of this in Ikorodu, as we need more developmental projects.”
This same plea was reiterated at Orile-Agege Local Council Development Area, during the commissioning of Ogundele and Fashola Roads, when a member of the executive of the CDC in the area, Olukunle Eniyandunmo, noted that residents were happy about the new roads, as it would impact the socio-economic life of the community.
He added that the community needs more roads to be rehabilitated and constructed since the community still plays host to a cocktail of bad roads.
Also, the CDA chairman of the area, Alhaji Olajire Agboola, toed the same line as he called for the construction of more roads.
At Apapa-Orile Local Council Development Area, the request was the same, as a resident, who introduced himself as Yakubu, lamented that the bad roads within the area far outnumbered the good ones, a development he said calls for urgent attention, from both the local and state governments.
In flagging off the commissioning exercise, the governor said that it was the celebration of a new dawn in the life of the people of the state, describing it as a glorious dawn of community development, accelerated through the vision of inclusive governance.
Ambode, who was represented at the event by his deputy, Oluranti Adebule, said, “All of us can recall the conversation we had when I came to you as the candidate of our great party, the All Progressive Congress. Our contract to create a greater Lagos State in which no one shall be left behind, a state in which all communities shall feel the impact of our vision, where ever they may be.”
He added that the road project is a celebration of another major landmark in the annals of progressive governance in the state.
According to him, he articulated the concept of inclusive governance as a system in which policies, projects and programmes shall be driven by the needs of the communities, and the wishes and aspirations of the citizens.
Ambode noted that with the completion of the roads, the commissioning remains a celebration of the transformation of vision to action and dream to reality.
“Across the length and breath of our state, from the nooks of Badagry to the crannies of Igbonla, from the corners of Odeomi to the creeks of Ikorodu, a new Lagos emerges at the centre and peripheries,” he stated.
He disclosed that the journey started with asking the communities through the CDAs to identify the roads in need of improvement in their areas and hundreds of requests were received and the state government picked two per local government area to make up the 114 roads across the state.
To ensure transparency and accountability, Ambode said that a bidding process was established, inline with international best practices that produced 89 indigenous contractors.
He thanked the local contractors for delivering on the projects and demonstrating the capacity of the construction industry in the state.
“Between January and August, we made Lagos economy the most viable in the country by investing more than N19b of the state and local governments’ funds in the infrastructural renewal that the 114 road projects represents. We gave jobs directly to over 5,000 construction professionals and artisans and indirectly to over 10,000 dependents.”
In appreciation of the role of the communities in the construction of the roads, he implored them to take ownership of the roads, adding that the government would handover the powering of the streetlights to the CDAs and support them to operate them.
Speaking in Orile-Agege LCDA, Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudasiru Obasa, who represented Ambode, also implored residents of the area to make good use of the roads, as well as ensure its maintenance.
On his part, Sole Administrator of Orile-Agege, James Agboola, said with the commissioning of the roads, the governor has fulfilled one of its electoral promises.
He also implored residents of the area and other road users to guard against abuse, but ensure sustainable use.
Sole Administrator of Apapa-Iganmu Local Council Development Area, Olumide Olayomi, in his remarks commended Ambode for keeping to his electoral promises.
According to him, with the two roads, the landscape of the community is being changed, as the value of properties on the newly constructed roads had appreciated by over 100 per cent. This, according to him, is why the residents must be appreciative of the gesture of the governor.
Olayomi who said the road belongs, added that it was for this singular reason that the governor has ensured that they were part of its maintenance.
Also commenting, the Chairman of CDC, Apapa-Iganmu, Dr. Bamiyo Iliasu, said that residents were really happy about the new roads, as it would bring development to them. On behalf of the residents, he promised that the roads would be put to good use.
Different venues of the commissioning became mini political rallies, with party members and area boys, seeking relevance. While the party members were dressed in uniform attire in some locations, the women among them intermittently made the venue lively with their musical interlude.
On the other hand, the area boys created a great deal of nuisance, which always resulted in rowdiness and the eventual whisking away of personalities, especially popular politicians by their security aides.
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