Lagos Has Built More New Roads Than Ghana, Sierra Leone In The Last 3½ Years - Fashola
Nov 11, 2010 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Thursday said the State has built more new roads in the last three and half years than either Sierra Leone or Ghana, two countries in the West African Sub- region.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the official commissioning of New Plants and Equipment of the Lagos State Public Works Corporation at Oba Ogunnusi Road, Isheri added that in the last three years, a total number of new 251 roads comprising 371 kilometres have been completed within Lagos.
He explained that currently another 44 roads that will provide 77 kilometres of new roads are under construction and would be concluded within the next six months.
Governor Fashola also said in addition to this, another 60 new roads that would add 129 kilometres are under construction and would be completed beyond the six months timeline.
According to the Governor, any observer of events in Lagos can testify that in the last three and half years, the State has become a huge construction city with the Government being non-discriminatory in terms of infrastructure development as it has been by building schools, hospitals, drainages and more importantly roads.
The Governor reiterated that easy movement of persons and goods within and around the state remains central to the deliverables required for the megacity ideal to take its proper shape, adding that the vision is to make Lagos the model mega City in Africa.
Governor Fashola said the strategy is to complement the massive on-going road construction work in various parts of the State with commensurate routine repair and maintenance exercise.
While explaining that the administration is committed to ensuring that road maintenance is sustainable, the Governor urged the people to reconsider their general attitude to road maintenance.
This, he said, can be achieved if the people shun the habit of turning the roads to refuse dumps as well as engaging in indiscriminate road cutting, stressing that most new roads have ducts provided with them thus making road cutting absolutely unnecessary.
Governor Fashola said while Government is not opposed to people engaging in laying of cables across roads, it is always advisable to seek clarifications to be better informed, adding that Government always advises that it is the contractors who constructed the roads that should cut and fix back the roads if it becomes absolutely necessary.
The Governor urged the Federal Government to accelerate and show serious commitment to building a rail network that will help the concerned interests to discharge goods from the ports.
He explained that the advanced countries which Nigeria seeks to emulate do not discharge their crude and containers by roads but by rail, adding that this is made more imperative with Lagos State which has the busiest port in the country.
He added that part of the results empirically proven as being responsible for the state of some of the roads is that when containers are conveyed from the ports, they are not taken to the warehouses located at the industrial estates where the roads have been prepared to withstand heavy equipments, but many would prefer to drive the containers to the streets of their residence thereby shortening the lifespan of such roads.
Governor Fashola also commended the Public Works Corporation for becoming creative in finding new and adaptive ways to keep traffic moving and the roads motorable in spite of the rains.
Governor Fashola said the new methods have proven very reliable and ideal for areas that are with high water table and those with challenges of drains adding that the management and staff of the Public Works Corporation should be ready to sing their own praises if no one does it.
The Governor emphasized that the items being commissioned only represents a tip of the iceberg in terms of the investment the State is prepared to make towards ensuring that Lagos roads remain in good condition all year round
The items include 10 tractors with tipping trailers, 13 double cabin pick-ups, asphalt cutters with blades, paver, 6 rollers, graders, wheel loader and bulldozer.
He also disclosed that a low bed with head, Hyab hand held rollers and flood lights are awaiting delivery while signs of adherence to health and safety standards are already manifesting with the use of cones, caution tapes, reflective chevrons, flashing lights, nose masks, hand gloves, hard hats, safety boots and the bright yellow uniforms.
The Governor to Lagosians to consider the roads as their personal and collective heritage built with their taxes which everyone has the individual duty to protect and preserve.
"If we continue to see the roads as refuse dumps, let sewage water flow into the road, cut roads indiscriminately, spill petroleum products on roads or burn tyres and other items on the roads and we fail to check the menace of axle load of containers, articulated lorries, trailers and tankers, we will remain far from keeping roads in good condition and consequently reduce the investment of our hard earned tax on road maintenance to a huge waste", he added.
"The roads do not belong to Government; they belong to all of us. We must protect them as we protect those things we value".
In a welcome address, the Executive Chairman of the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, Mr Gbenga Akintola said the push of the Governor to re-engineer the Corporation has led the PWC into adopting a wholistic approach to changing its fortune for the better.
Mr Akintola assured the Governor that his dream for the corporation will come true earlier than imagined, going by the level of success already recorded in the area of capacity to respond to emergency road repair requests, working at night, adhering to health and safety standards and prosecution of the rebranding project.
He said in spite of prevailing circumstances, the Corporation has been able to work on 127 roads across the State under the palliative programme which commenced in August 2010, adding that the Corporation has resumed the production of asphalt which will enable it to carry out proper repair work that will last much longer and reach more places faster.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Hon Dayo Fafunmi thanked the Governor for successfully rebranding the Public Works Corporation.
While commending the organization for getting busy even during the rainy season, Hon Fafunmi also urged the Governor to give regular funding to the agency.
He also urged the Governor to make a case for increased funding of the Public Works Corporation from the proceeds of the petroleum tax out of which 60 percent is supposed to be shared among states' rehabilitation agencies.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of Infrastructure, Engineer Lateef Olokunola commended the level of repairs being done round the state by the agency.
He urged the agency to embark upon the training of local engineers in the 57 Local Government Councils and Local Council Development Areas so that they can assist the councils to face local roads while the agency faces state roads.
The Governor later cut the tape to commission the new plants and equipment before being conducted round for an inspection of the items.