-Work will commence soon – Hon. Benson
Residents and other road users have continued to express worry over the failure of the Federal Government to flag-off the rehabilitation of Ikorodu-Shagamu road which deplorable condition has remain daily nightmares to motorists and other road users for over a decade.
The official ceremony to kick- start the commencement of the road rehabilitation scheduled to hold on Thursday, April 1, 2018, was put-off without any reason.
The development caused disappointment for the people who have been expecting the rehabilitation work to commence in earnest since the news about the federal government’s approval for the road’s rehabilitation was broke.
THE IMPACT gathered that the flag-off ceremony failed to take place because of issues surrounding the award of part of the project (from Ogijo to Shagamu) by the Ogun State Government to PW Nigeria Limited and engagement of Arab Contractors by the Federal Government to handle the entirety of the project few months after.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on Wednesday, March 29, 2018, approved over N20 billion for the rehabilitation of Ikorodu-Sagamu expressway.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this disclosure while addressing State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, the project when completed, will enhance movements of petroleum products and agricultural produce.
Mohammed said: “On behalf of the minister of Power, Works & Housing, l will also brief you that the FEC approved the rehabilitation of Ikorodu-Shagamu Road in Lagos State at the sum of N20,845,336,214.
“The significance of the award of this contract is that it will reduce road accidents and loss of lives. Of course, it will reduce travel time and operating cost for transporters and commuters, and more importantly, it will enhance the movement of petroleum and agricultural products and also facilitate other commercial activities.”
Some residents have been querying the sincerity of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government over the rehabilitation of the Ikorodu-Sagamu road.
One of such residents, Kenny Omoraji, while expressing his concern on the social media asked, “I hope we’ve not been robbed and deceived by the APC led administration concerning the proposed rehabilitation of Ikorodu -Sagamu road.We saw Arab Contractors erecting signboard but all of a sudden, everything disappeared.Hey, I’m afraid oooo!”.
Jayeola Miracle Oluwanifemi Elfem, while also expressing his own concern over the failure to hold the flag-off ceremony for the commencement of the rehabilitation of the road and the movement of equipment from site by the Arab Contractors, stated, “We need answers from APC led government about Ikorodu/Sagamu road”, he stated.
“The Arab Contractors’ sign board and equipment which were all still on site at Odogunyan on the day the road was supposed to be flagged-off suddenly dissappeared the next day. Most people are worried including myself. Can this be a fraud or APC is fooling us? We need response because people are worried and saying lots of things about the ruling party. What is really happening?” Jayeola asked.
When contacted for clarifications over the failure to hold the flag off ceremony for the rehabilitation of the road and the movement of equipment from site by Arab Contractors, a former senior Cabinet member in one of the three Councils in Ikorodu Constituency I, stated.
“Do you think our government is sincere about this project? What information do you have about Arab Contractors moving its equipment from site and why do you think the much-awaited flag-off failed to hold as planned? I have been searching for answers and I have to call you because you are in a better position to know more than most of us”, he asked anxiously.
Meanwhile, THE IMPACT gathered that contrary to the fear been expressed by the residents, Arab Contractors had only moved its equipment from the temporary site located close to where the aborted flag-off ceremony was meant to hold to a permanent site along the road.
It was also gathered from a reliable source that the major reason responsible for the postponement of the flag-off ceremony was due to the need to resolve some matters involving the rehabilitation of the important highway which connects Lagos with other parts of the country.
It was gathered that the Ogun State Government had awarded part of the road to PW which has commenced work from Ogijo before the federal government awarded the entire rehabilitation of the road to another construction company recently.
The need to resolve this contractual issue between the FG and Ogun State on one hand and Arab Contractors and PWD on the other, we gathered, necessitated the cancellation and postponement of the flag-off.
A source who spoke with THE IMPACT but did not want his name in print, said that the matter may be resolved soon if things work according to plans.
He assured that the matter would not degenerate since the two governments involved are from the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC).
Mr Dayo Adeneye, the Ogun State Commissioner for Information, did not deny the development when our reporter contacted him on phone twice.
He also promised to get back to our reporter but was yet to do so as at the time of filing this report.
Attempts to reach the representative of the Federal Comptroller-General of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) which is responsible for the maintenance of the road also proved abortive.
Meanwhile, Hon. Babajimi Benson, Member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency, has assured his constituents that Arab Contractors Construction Company is ready to commence work while responding to queries on his Facebook page.
“Arab Contractors have moved the equipments to their newly leased permanent site and are ready to commence the works in earnest”, Hon. Benson said.
Attempts by our reporters to hear from the construction giants, Arab contractors and PWD, also proved abortive.