3 April 2012

Nigeria: Community, Contractor At Daggers-Drawn Over Road

When residents of Amuwo Odofin Newtown, Mile 2 Estate Lagos, discovered in 2009 that tractors had been mobilised for the reconstruction of the only major road that passes through their estate, they heaved a sigh of relief.

Before then, the road which was reportedly constructed during the administration of Alhaji Lateef Jakande as Lagos State governor, had suffered neglect for many years.

As a result of this abandonment, residents and commuters were constrained to pass through alternative routes, especially through FESTAC to come into the estate.

But the joy which greeted the award of the reconstruction contract appears to have been shortlived as the landlord association of the estate and the company handling the job, YOB Nigeria Ltd are presently at loggerheads over the road.

Vanguard Metro,VM, gathered that the grouse of the landlords and residents, who recently protested under the auspices Amuwo Odofin New Town Movement, Mile 2, was not unconnected with the quality of work so far done by the contractors.

Withstanding the test of time

Disclosing this to VM, the president of the association, Chief Ade Owas, said: "Members of the Residents/Landlord Association are dejected by the shoddy job being done on the road by the contractor. The median is too wide and it is wider than the main road. Even the kerb is so weak; it cannot withstand the test of time, like the previous one that was there when the road was constructed by(former Governor) Jakande.

The foundation of any construction here must be strong because this land was a reclaimed and sandfilled. We have written to the state government and the Ministry of Environment informing them about the poor quality of work being done. We want the work to be stopped and replaced with a high quality job."

A copy of one of the letter to the state governor made available to VM, by the association was dated January 12, 2011. The letter which was signed by Messrs Ade Owas and M Shitta-Bey, President and Secretary respectively, of the group implored the Governor to ensure that the road was converted into a Trunk A road.

"The road leads to the Industrial estate and is plied daily by heavy trucks and container carrying trailers. As such, this road must be constructed as a Trunk A road as contained in our letter to the state governor dated June 22, 2010.

The kerb used by the contractor is more of a garden walkaway; it is not comparable to the initial kerbs removed by the contractor in strength and material consideration. The work planning and execution is a failure," the letter noted.

Nonetheless, it was gathered that the Lagos State Government New Towns Development Authority supervises the project.

An attempt to speak with the project supervisor Engr. Idris Oduwode, did not yield any result, as he declined comment, noting that he was not empowered to speak to the press.

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