Fashola Commisisons Okota-Itire Overhead Bridge, 3 Other Major Projects
…Says every part of Lagos will be a Centre of prosperity
May 11, 2010 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday handed over four major projects, assuring the people of Lagos that if they continue to give their mandate to the party of ideas, the Action Congress, everything would be possible in Lagos.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the different handing over ceremonies of a Mini- Water Works with a capacity for three million gallons of water daily at Ajegunle, Apapa Central Business District network of major roads as well as the Okota- Itire Overhead Link bridge and road works connecting seven local Governments added that the administration wants to ensure that every part of Lagos State is a centre of prosperity.
At Apapa, where he commissioned five network of roads in the Central Business District, Governor Fashola said the State Government recognizes the critical value of Apapa as a major harbour of the seaports of Nigeria, adding that government will do everything to ensure that the capacities remain.
He explained that the State Government quickly addressed the issue of the state of the roads in Apapa which is a major commercial centre to improve the value of properties when many businesses were retreating due to bad roads.
He added that the commissioning and handing over of the network of roads necessitating the visit of the government team to Apapa is part of the quest to deliver the dividends of democracy and a fulfillment of the social contract it had with the people.
He also said 11 roads have been earmarked for upgrading out of which six is being handed over namely Aerodrome road, Warehouse Road, Calcutta Crescent, Abraham Adesanya Street, Itapeju Avenue and Kofo Abayomi Avenue, promising that the contractor is still very much around to continue work on the remaining five roads.
Governor Fashola also told the residents of Apapa that when work is concluded on the remaining roads, work will move into the inner roads which would be in conjunction with the Local Government Council.
He also told the residents that the Public Works Department would also be in the area to mend and rehabilitate some of the roads that do not need outright reconstruction.
While handing over Opeloyeru Street in Orile in the Coker Aguda Local Council Development Area to the people, Governor Fashola said the State Government has developed a partnership with the Lagos Millennium Development Project (LMDGP) to transform the blighted areas of the State, adding that the people should not regard living in a slum as a disease.
He informed that 17 roads have been earmarked for upgrading in the Orile area and assured the residents that three are ready with the contractor still on site to continue work on the remaining road projects.
He said the road being handed over is a qualitative job as the state Government is committed to replicating quality construction jobs all over the State.
The Governor urged the people to pay their taxes regularly in order to continue to enjoy multiple dividends of democracy, warning that the road should not be turned into a market or a refuse dump.
He also emphasized that the sidewalks were provided in order to ensure that pedestrians who are also tax payers benefit from the road without any form of interference.
While handing over the Okota-Itire overhead Link Bridge and road works at the Ogunlana street approach to Okota-Itire Link Bridge in Ijesha, Governor Fashola said the programme represents keeping a rendezvous at a defining moment of its tenure.
He added that the Okota link bridge is a true dividend of democracy and continuity with a lot of lessons to be learnt, adding that without democracy and continuity, it may never have happened this quickly or at all.
He revealed that the bridge was not his idea but one brought up by former Works Commissioner, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola who put up a justification for it during the last administration when he was the Chief of Staff as it provided an alternative to the bridge at Isolo and helped connect at least seven Local Government areas.
"The competing demands for the State's resources meant that the project had to be deffered; and our administration required no further persuasion to bring it to the front burner and give relief to millions of commuters and taxpayers who would benefit from the connection and travel-time reduction that the new bridge offers", he added.
Governor Fashola said the project was conceived to provide effective connection among many communities such as Yaba, Lawanson, Itire, Aguda, Surulere and Mushin through Ijesha road in the Eastern part and many other communities such as Ejigbo, Ijegun, Egbe, Isheri Oshun and Ire Akari in the Western side.
In his words: "Through this road infrastructure, we shorten distances and provide critical transport connections that reduces travel time, fuel costs and incidental expenses on the delivery of goods and services that will usually be passed down to consumers" .
He noted that the Government by the project keeps money in the pockets of the citizens that would have been otherwise spent on transportation costs or fuel; and this increases the amount of disposable income that the individual or family will ultimately have to spend on other amenities.
Governor Fashola also said he was proud and delighted that the budgetary vision and objectives of poverty alleviation through infrastructure is repeatedly being achieved and validated in the State.
The Governor, however, warned that the area under the bridge is not a market or a motor park, stressing that the Government will not allow trading, parking or any other activity under the bridge that will threaten the lifespan or value of the asset.
Governor Fashola also handed over a two in one Mini Water Works in Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government with a capacity of three million gallons capacity because the new location of the two million capacity mini water Works also served as the location of the Micro Water Works with a capacity for one million gallons a day.
He said every resident of Lagos must be ready to prove all those who have always contended that Nigerians cannot live beyond 47 that they are wrong and that Nigerians can live up to 100.
He reiterated that the administration promised 15 Mini Water Works out of which eight have been completed till date, explaining that four has already been handed over in the first quarter of the year while another four will be handed over in the present quarter beginning with the one in Ajegunle.
The Lagos State Governor explained that in order to improve the capacity of the State Water Corporation to provide potable water to every resident of the State, the State has just completed work on the Independent Power Station in Iju.
In his welcome address at the handing over of the Itire- Okota Link Bridge, the Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson said the road work involved construction, expansion and upgrading of Ijeshatedo to a four lane dual carriage way; Ogunlana Street, to a two lane single carriageway to serve as access to the bridge and Asoge/Market street, to two lane single carriageway which will serve as exit from the bridge.
Engineer Johnson said the construction of the overhead Link Bridge and road works is therefore a strategy aimed at drastically reducing the hitherto high travel time, running cost on vehicles and cost of transportation along and across the axis.
Also speaking at the handing over in Itire, the Consul General of the People's Republic of China, Mr Guo Kun commended the Government of Lagos for laying a solid foundation for the transformation of the State with a strong infrastructural base.
He expressed the hope that the successful completion of the project by the CCCEC will signify the continuation of a strong business relationship between Nigeria and China.
While also speaking, one of the residents of the Okota- Itire Link Bridge area, and fuji music star, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde Marshall commended the developmental efforts of Governor Babatunde Fashola since he assumed office adding that he has been focused on the rapid transformation of the State. He added that the new Bridge will open up the area for more business opportunities.
The events were attended by the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, members of the State Executive Council, some members of the State House of Assembly, traditional rulers, party leaders and appreciative members of the public who turned out enmasse at each of the venues.