Lagos-Badagry Expressway: LASG Gets Massive Support From Stakeholders
Jul 3, 2009 - Stakeholders including property owners, opinion leaders and traditional rulers in the over 50 kilometre Lagos-Badagry Express Way which is billed for expansion into a 10 lane Super highway on Friday unanimously gave the go ahead to the State Government under the leadership of Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) to reconstruct the Expressway.
Led by the paramount ruler of Badagryland, De Wheno Aholu Menu Toyi 1, Akran of Badagry, the stakeholders who gathered at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium Alausa to discuss the proposed expansion which also had the Governor in attendance assured the State Government of the support of all the residents in the area for the road expansion saying “it is long overdue”.
The Akran of Badagry said a world of limitless opportunities await Badagry if the road is finally expanded as it would open up the area to both commerce and industry.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) in his address expressed appreciation to all the institutional and individual Stakeholders in the area, agencies of government, the Nigerian Police, the Military for their cooperation and buy- in into the project.
He added that the State Government is working in conjunction with the contractors to relocate the Police Station at Orile which is the first to be affected by the project.
Governor Fashola also said democracy expects everyone to play his or her part in order to ensure healthy societal development , adding that it requires sacrifice to get a better life.
“This is the time to make that sacrifice for yourselves and your children. In your lifetime and my own lifetime, we can see a truly modern Lagos where transportation works”, he emphasized.
Governor Fashola said the stakeholders’ forum is not new but an occasion which presents the opportunity to tell each other the truth and confront reality as well as an opportunity to make a real choice for the future of this generation and those coming behind.
He recalled that when the Lagos Badagry ExpressWay was built in the seventies there was generous land that was reserved on both sides for future expansion, but lamented that with a population boom, the setbacks have been taken over without authorization and unregulated development of properties inspite of warnings, demolitions and ejections by various governments.
Said he: “A journey of about 60kilometres from Eric Moore to Badagry which should have taken 30 minutes now take between two to five hours with its attended cost on our quality of life from accident, stress, high fuel emission in bumper to bumper traffic and attendant health consequences”.
“The express road would be done into a 10 lane dual carriage way of five lanes on each side with BRT lite corridor and light rail facilities”, Governor Fashola added.
He explained that Lagos- Nigeria is the only country that had not constructed its own gateway road according to international standards on the West African coast.
He added that Lagos also remains the only modern city with a population of more than 10million people that does not have an intra city rail, adding that 30 years ago, the country had the opportunity to build a metroline but flunked it and now paying the price for the lost opportunity.
In his words: “Cairo and Libya who came to look at our design have been operating theirs in the last 15 to 29 years. Dubai has just completed her own with barely 1.5Million people. All these add up to the fact that the time for change is not now, the time for change was yesterday”.
“We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect things to change. If we do not build this road now, our population will increase and the condition of the road will get worse. It will collapse just as Apapa/Oshodi is now collapsing”.
“During my campaign, the condition of traffic on this road was a concern, I promised to fix the road and Igbo Elerin as well as the Okota Link Bridge. We have kept our promises, Igo Elerin road is under construction, Okota Link Bridge is also under construction. We have completed LASU Iba road that was started by my predecessor and we have added the Amuwo Odofin- Ago Palace Way. Work is on going on Opeloyeru road and neighbouring road as we are building Cardoso and other roads in Ajegunle” , Governor Fashola said.
The Governor said contract has been awarded for the first phase and the mobilization fees paid to the contractor, adding that the contract has also been awarded for the construction of an intra city rail for which arrangement has been concluded to pay the contractor.
He reiterated that the people who will operate the rail service have already submitted their bids, saying all that is left is for the citizens and stakeholders to play their part by surrendering the setback and allow work to start, saying: “The choice is ours to make, as a Government, we are ready to deliver on the promises that we made”.
He said the construction of the road and the rail service means that at least 1000 people would be employed during the construction process on a daily basis, informing that students of the State University School of Transport would also witness, learn and participate in the construction first hand so that in the future, the Nigerian rail system can be built by Nigerians.
Governor Fashola said it also means that he can invite hundreds of Nigerians working in the British rail service and wanting to come home that they can indeed do so.
The Governor said the Government has acquired all the properties that fall on the Right of Way in the area in the overriding public interest thus extinguishing all the titles and tasked all the property owners to come forward and apply for compensation.
Responding to a question, Governor Fashola said the amount to be paid as compensation cannot be determined as at now because many more are still coming forward with their claims and promised that the state Government would pay all those who are entitled to the compensation.
Governor Fashola said the first step is to identify those who are entitled and the next step is to get survey or to measure and quantify, saying the process of compensation is also a process of employment for those dealing in land matters and estate valuers.
The Permanent Secretary in the Land Bureau, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa in his presentation stated that his office would soon commence payment of compensation to those whose documents had been certified genuine, explaining that this would commence around the first two weeks of August 2009.
The Special Adviser on Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, explained that Julius Berger PLC the contractor would first work on the new two lanes before doing the three inner lines already in existence.
“There will be no inhibition to free flow of traffic while the construction works lasted as alternative routes have been provided for other road users in additional to this arrangement. Also, maps indicating the alternative routes will be advertised in the newspapers for the public in addition to radio jingles”, Mr. Kayode Opeifa added.
“LASTMA and police personnel would also be available to enforce traffic compliance with five patrol buses and five motor bike deployed to patrol the route on daily basis”, he said.
Also speaking, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson said due to the high volume of human traffic on the road which is at about 500, 000 people at any given time, the road as it is now can longer cope with the demand.
Earlier in an address of welcome, Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Town Planner Francisco Abosede told the audience that the Government convened the Stakeholders forum to carry the people along in its policy implementation process.
The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo, who spoke on behalf of all military formations and security agencies, who were also represented at the forum assured the State Government of maximum security during the construction.
He announced that other military barracks and stations that would be yielded to the project included those of Mowo, Mile 2, Morogbo, Oto Ijanikin, Badagry and the military barracks at Mile 2.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Lagos, Engineer Ayo Obilomo pledged the support of the Organization to the State Government in relocating some of the PHCN facilities that fall on the Right Of Way (ROW) around Ijora and Orile.
He added that a building of PHCN at Orile is affected, adding that the organization is in the process of finding an alternative.
Local Government Chairmen in the axis including Mr. Olu Adewale of Amuwo Odofin, Prince Yinka Durosinmi of Ojo and Hon Moses Husitode from Badagry Local Government all urged the Governor to go ahead with the project and not allow detractors to stop him from embarking upon the project.
Also, the Ojora of Lagos, Chief Fatai Aromire said that he had appealed to his tenants around Coker and Odunade to abide by the state government’s decision on the development and yield affected properties for the development.