31 January 2013

Nigeria: Ikorodu Road - Lagos, FG On Warpath Again

The Lagos State Government yesterday asked the Federal Government to order the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to desist from plans to commence the rehabilitation of Ikorodu Road.

It said the road which had been properly ceded to it under the administration of former President Olusegun Obaasanjo.

The state's Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, issued the warning in a statement, asking FERMA "to concentrate on other federal roads begging for attention across all the local councils the state."

He explained that the planned rehabilitation "can only be construed as an undue interference which will only amount to a duplication of efforts and a waste of resources especially as there are other federal roads in critical state begging for attention across the state."

He specifically tasked the federal agency "to concentrate on such areas as the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Lagos- Sagamu Road, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and a host of others roads begging for serious attention.

"The state government applied for and had taken over the maintenance and rehabilitation of Ikorodu Road, not only to ensure its improvement but to also upgrade its facilities in the light of the realities of its policies."

Hamzat said the state government had taken over the responsibility of reconstruction and maintenance along the road when the bus rapid transit (BRT) scheme along the corridor from Mile 12 to Jibowu took off.

He also explained that since the take over few years back, the state government "has carried out construction of the dedicated BRT lanes from Jibowu to Mile 12, rehabilitation of both sides of the service lanes and gully grating and replacement of 89 manhole covers. These were undertaken by Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA)."

He also referred to the various improvements on the quality of roads such as the construction of pedestrian bridges across the road to ease pedestrian crossing and lane markings and bus shelters.

He explained that the state Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) had in the last three years undertaken extensive rehabilitation of the asphalt surface and manhole replacement using the composite resin fibre that had no secondary commercial value, thereby making it unattractive to vandals.

Till date, Hamzat said about 20 manhole covers "have been replaced by Lagos State Public Works Corporation. The activities of the LSPWC also extend from Mile 12 to Anthony axis of Ikorodu Road, Ketu service lane (inward Toll Gate), Anthony service lane inward Ilupeju, Jibowu Bus-Stop-both sides of the road and Independence Tunnel inward Jibowu (both sides of the road).

"With such a commitment demonstrated by the state government, it will be a sheer waste of energy and indeed a design to create unnecessary tussle between the various agencies of the state government," he said.

He restated the government's commitment to ensuring the welfare of the people of the state, noting that the reconstruction of Ketu to Ikorodu Town "is designed to ensure a better motorable road for the vast majority of people living within the axis especially in the face of neglect by federal authority".

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