Transformation Of Oshodi Will Be Comprehensive, LASG
…Relocation of traders, work on pedestrian bridges, Street lights begin
Jan 24, 2009 - The Lagos State Government through its Inter- Ministerial Committee on Oshodi on Saturday declared that all issues connected to the relocation of traders from the area would be comprehensively addressed.
Speaking after an extensive tour of the demolished illegal Oshodi market and its environs as well as the nearly completed modern Cairo market, members of the committee including the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele and his Environment counterpart, Dr. Muiz Banire and the Special Adviser on Transportation, Hon. Kayode Opeifa said all issues relating to environment, traffic management and control as well as security are being addressed by Government.
According to the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Bamidele the state is interested in resettling the Oshodi traders, adding that “as much as we needed to abate the mess and nuisance in Oshodi, we are also interested in resettlement and as much as possible whatever we have to do to cushion the effect of what we have done, we will work with the local government and the developer to do it”.
The Commissioner added that the visit to the Cairo market as part of the tour of Oshodi by the inter-ministerial committee is part of the exploratory visit that the team needs to make, adding that with the level of work already embarked upon, there is the need to talk seriously to the local government and the builder working with it on a Build, Operate and Transfer basis with respects to the options that are available.
Mr Bamidele explained that what happens next would depend on what is decided on at the various meetings which the state government is holding with the local government while also carrying the builder along.
He said this has become imperative because the Cairo market is a Private Public Partnership Project (PPP) which the state as one which is interested in relating with the private sector would not take for granted the interest of the private entities involved.
Also speaking, Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Muiz Banire said several options are available to the traders relocated from Oshodi depending on the affordability and the choice, adding that they could choose between an open market and a lock up shop.
Dr Banire explained that for those who intend to engage in open trading, the state government still has a big open space at Berliet where all a trader needs to pay is just ticket toll to the local council every day.
Dr Banire added that for those who choose to operate from lock up shops the state has provided mortgage schemes with the shops serving as collateral as well as micro finance schemes which any trader can access easily.
According to Dr Banire: “In Lagos today, nobody has cause to complain that he cannot afford anything, because the mortgage and micro finance schemes are available for them. The issue is not about affordability but choice of which one to choose. The underlying word is that we are not displacing people but relocating them”.
“We make sure that before we embark upon any clearing exercise, we will provide alternatives for the people. Within Oshodi, apart from the Cairo market, we have five other ones which people can move into. Even Awolowo market in Mushin, it is still largely vacant, same for Berliet. They have enough to move into”, he added.
The Environment Commissioner also said what the state government is committed to is ensuring that all the illegal structures and trading posts within the Oshodi market which is breeding all manner of nefarious activities are stopped, so that the people can live well and be comfortable.
Dr Banire added that right now, a lot is going on in Oshodi in terms of beautification as there are flood lights all over the area, such that the area is well-lit at night.
He informed that from the entire stretch from Cappa to the Airport, the street lights would soon come up as work has started, just as Julius Berger is addressing the expansion of the pedestrian bridge as well as construction of another one and a bus interchange and shelter.
The Commissioner told newsmen that serious beautification cannot start now, because the firms providing the street lights, Julius Berger and the Ministry of Transportation are engaging in a lot of trenching which would not permit beautification for now.
Also speaking, Special Adviser on Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa said the new Oshodi is a testimony that Lagos is determined to unlock all the gridlocks and dismantle all obstacles to free flow of traffic.
He also advised transport unions in the area to comply with the latest initiative of the Government as it has zero tolerance on that road, adding: “We would not entertain any traffic hindrance coming from any road user at the expense of the majority”.
The Chairman of Oshodi -Isolo local government area, Hon Afeez Ipesa- Balogun thanked Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for the huge transformation of Oshodi, adding that the three local governments of Onigbongbo, Odi Olowo and Oshodi- Isolo which borders the area are putting heads together to compliment the good work of the Governor.
Also on the tour were the Special Adviser in the Governor’s Office, Mr. Sunny Ajose, the Managing Director of LAGBUS, Mr. Tunde Disu, the Chairman of the Lagos State Environmental Taskforce, Mr. Bayo Suleiman and a director in the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Toyin Onisarotu as well as the Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Mr Hakeem Bello among other State Government officials.