Fashola Hands Over Adelabu Steeet, Ogunlana Drive, Akerele Street In One Day
• Governor solicits cooperation of Lagosians on voluntary tax compliance, protection of public infrastructure
Feb 2, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Thursday handed over three roads – Adelabu Street, Akerele Street and Ogunlana Drive – to Surulere residents with a passionate appeal to Lagosians to cooperate with his administration in the on-going infrastructure regeneration by voluntarily paying their taxes.
In his address at the handover ceremony witnessed by top government functionaries including the Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Governor Fashola said the peoples' cooperation was expedient because it is through infrastructural regeneration that the economy of the State could be grown and jobs provided for the teeming population.
The Governor who said there is still a deficit of infrastructure yet to be met in the State, declared, "For us, this is the way to grow the economy; this is the way to provide jobs. You cannot provide jobs by just making statements. You provide jobs by getting things done".
According to the Governor, the deficit is estimated to cost the State Government close to about $50 billion against the State's yearly revenue of about $3 billion. "If you do the odd calculation of our budget of about four hundred and something billion and with a Dollar now about N162.00, it is possibly not up to $3 billion and that includes all the taxes that you pay", he said.
"You can see the race we are up against. But, in spite of that difficulty, the regeneration and the bridging of the infrastructure gap has started. It started from 1999. You saw things being done in Kudirat Abiola Street, Oregun, in Adeola Odeku, in Sobo Arobiodu Street and all of that and you saw the Lagos Island Central Business District renewal.
"Now we continue that through the renewal of Old Yaba, many parts of Apapa; now we are in Surulere, we are in Idiaraba, we are in Mushin, we are in Alimosho and we are in Ketu and so many other parts. We are in Ijeshatedo and in Aguda. There is still a lot of work to be done", the Governor said.
Governor Fashola, however, assured the people, "But we are not afraid to take on the challenges. We need your cooperation to continue to take on these challenges. Ultimately, we will be the winners in this on-going battle to reduce the infrastructure deficit and uplift our people out of poverty".
The Governor, who said the roads are being constructed and maintained by indigenous companies Messrs HFP and Plycon – recounted that the roads in the area were, in his days as a child, maintained by a company called Taylor-Woodrow and noted that it is instructive that a new generation of Nigerians are "owners of construction companies that are building roads that belong to Nigeria in our country and this is what we expect to see more".
He said the roads were a product of his electioneering campaigns and thanked the people of Surulere for voting the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the last general elections in the country. He explained, "During the campaigns, we were here, barely 10 metres from where we are today, handing over the Adeniran Ogunsanya Road and then I promised you that if you voted for the ACN, that could extend to Akerele and other parts of Surulere and because we made a promise, we are back here today".
Governor Fashola said the handover of the three roads was part of the regeneration of infrastructure in the State adding, "I am here now to complete the handing over of the roads that are already completed so far in this Local Government as more are going on".
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Femi Hamzat, said the roads handed over were part of the inner ring roads currently under construction in the Local Government adding that they have been designed to have such landmark features as expanded dual carriageways with appropriate walkway, streetlight and service ducts among others.
The Commissioner explained that the projects attested to the commitment of the present administration in the State to ensuring a better life for the citizens adding that it would have significant impact on the socio-economic well-being of Surulere which, according to him, "is predominantly middle class community".
Hamzat appealed to the people to use the roads in the State effectively and in a manner which would extend the lifespan of the roads adding, "Simple behaviours go a long way in ensuring that we have enduring infrastructure and these include refraining from behaviours such as indiscriminate throwing of wastes into drains, disposal of oil wastes onto the roads, cutting of the road tar, washing of cars on the road, We all have responsibilities to oversee the public infrastructure which have been built through the resources contributed from taxes paid by all of us".
The Commissioner said Government would continue to provide infrastructure that would endure just as it would also continue to promote the culture of maintenance on all public infrastructure adding, "Since we cannot be everywhere at all times, we expect you to be our ears and eyes".
Commending Messrs HFP Engineering Limited "for the quality of work and timely delivery" of the Akerele Road, the Commissioner said the cooperation of the residents of Surulere in monitoring the roads would enable the Government to promptly apprehend those who engage in wilful damage to Government properties, adding that towards achieving effective monitoring of the roads and other public utilities built by the Government, a mobile line – 07051057777 - has been inaugurated as public line for the engagement of the Government.
Also present at the occasion were Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Taofiq Tijani, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu, Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Bosun Jeje and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba among other members of the State Executive Council and Legislature as well as local government chairmen, traditional rulers and other top government functionaries.