Six years of waiting in vain for the intervention of the Ogun State government in the construction of Arepo Town road, at the weekend, spurred residents of the estate to engage in self-help by fixing the 1.2km access road.
Arepo is a satellite town off the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun, noted for its delightful settlement and magnificent structures erected in the town, but which recently witnessed mass exodus from the area due to terrible state of the road and adjoining roads.
The area, which is home to Journalists' Estate and several choice estates, is the next prime location after Magodo, where a plot of land cost as much as N15 million, but the sorry state of the estate in terms of road infrastructure has affected the quality of life and value of investment in the area.
However, to change the narrative, the residents, who had embarked on a 'Yes, we can fix our road' initiative, said they are prepared to rescue their estate after repeated attempts to engage the state government failed to yield result.
Speaking at the kick-off and fundraising of the communal effort at the weekend, president of Arepo Central Community Development Association (ACCDA), Mr. Kehinde Adeyemo, said the move was galvanized by the failure of the Ogun State government to keep its promise.
Adeyemo, a quantity surveyor, said the community has spent N18 million cumulatively on the project, while the first phase of the main access road cost N8 million. According to him, the main access road was awarded six years ago at the inception of Governor Amosun's administration and ever since, residents have been engaging the government on the need to come to their aid, all to no avail.
Specifically, he said the road was awarded to First August construction firm in November 2012 under Contract 11 with a signpost erected at the Journalist Estate Phase 1 gate and has since remained untouched and impassable for motorists and pedestrians.
He said: "When we discovered that the road was going to cut into two due to erosion at the gate of NUJ 2, we gathered funds to begin the culvert but before we moved to the second stage of culvert construction, the state Ministry of Works came to help out.
"When Governor Ibikunle Amosun came in year 2015 to seek re-election, we made it clear that the road was our priority because of the pain we are passing through daily but we are still expecting him till today," he added.
Also, the chairman of Shalom Estate, one of the numerous estates inthe community, Mr. Shina Shitu, said the project started with a lot of doubt but reality on ground has shown that residents are willing to help themselves by donating generously towards the project.
He urged the officials of the executive committee not to relent in the task ahead in order to improve the quality of life and the value of the estate, which he said is fast deteriorating.