Lagos Roads: Ambode Pleads with FG to Pay N30b Debt to State
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday begged President Muhammadu Buhari to pay the over N30 billion the Federal Government is owing the state on road infrastructure to enable him accelerate the development of Lagos.
Ambode spoke after carrying out inspection tour of Apapa, Ladipo and Oshodi areas of the state, urging the Federal Government to prevail on its contractor fixing roads in the state to return to site and complete the projects.
“Yes, it is true that the Federal Government is owning Lagos N51 billion, but also the Federal Government is saying that some conditions must be met and some part of the money is actually under contention, but the part that is free from encumbrances, which is almost about N30 billion.
“If the Federal Government gives that to us, I will be able to do more roads, but the most important part of these Federal roads is the Murtala Mohammed Airport Road to Oshodi. On our own part, we believe we would meet all the conditions and where the Federal Government does not do it early next year, we would do it.
In Apapa, where the governor visited major axis, such as Creek Road, Liverpool Road, BUA Corridor, he expressed dissatisfaction with the state of affairs where containerized trucks have completely taken over the roads.
At the Creek Road housing Thisday Newspapers, the Governor made a stop-over at the Liverpool under bridge where he inspected the on-going construction of bridge which is designed to accommodate about 1,000 containerized trucks at once upon completion.
Ambode also inspected the on-going construction works in Isolo Road and Adeoyo Street in Ladipo, where he was briefed by the contractor on site about the level of work done so far.
He also took time to inspect the situation of things at the popular Ladipo Auto Spare Parts market, as well as the Ladipo Carnal, beside Guardian Newspapers, where he expressed displeasure with the illegal activities being perpetrated by traders, and warned that the situation was no longer tenable to the Government.
The Governor thereafter inspected facilities at the headquarters of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) in Oshodi.
Ambode urged the Federal Government to accelerate work on the Apapa Container Terminal Bridge, which he said on completion, would go a long way to ease traffic in the axis.
“We are pleading with the Federal Government to make sure that Julius Berger returns to site and alleviate the challenges that motorists are facing. But so far so good, we have seen some parts of Apapa that is now motorable. We believe strongly that once the Bridge is completed, the Container Terminal will be put to use. The Container Terminal can take like 1000 containers vehicles and that in itself will improve on the traffic gridlock in Lagos,” he said.
On the ongoing reconstruction of the Isolo-Daleko Road, Governor Ambode assured that work on the road will be completed in another nine months, urging the contractor to create palliatives that would ensure that the road is motorable during the festive period.
He said the state government will not hesitate to fix any road in the state regardless of its status, adding that it would do so if a structure that would ensure that the Federal Government reimburses the state is in place.
Speaking on the situation at the Ladipo Canal, he flayed the environmental nuisance that the traders within the area have constituted, warning that the state government will no longer condone their activities.
Ambode also called on motorists to comply with the traffic law, saying that the state government does not take joy in generating revenue from traffic offenders, but that the government would not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law where necessary.
“The enforcement should be for those who are actually traffic offenders, but we want to take it first that the people I govern are law abiding citizens and that’s the approach we want to use. It’s only when you disobey that we would want to treat you as an offender. I need to appeal to everyone that Lagos is for all of us all, we want to make sure that Lagos works for all of us, including me and every other Lagosian and that’s the purpose of this inspection,” the Governor said.
Also speaking to journalists at the end of the inspection tour, the Chief Executive Officer of LASTMA, Rtd. Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Chris Olakpe articulated a nine-point agenda which he tagged operation keep moving.
Olakpe assured that the agency would work in collaboration with Nigeria Police, Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs), and other stakeholders to ensure free flow of traffic.
He, however, urged Lagosians to ensure sanity on the road, just as he called for caution on the part of drivers especially during the forthcoming end of the year festivities.
“I have told my men to always be on ground. I also instructed them to ensure everywhere is clear at all times. The message is clear that anybody that contravenes traffic laws should be arrested and fined just as the governor directs that we should be civil in our approach.”
“You would always see my men on the road every day from 6am-10pm, with each of them stationed at strategic points in the metropolis. Because of that decision that each LASTMA should be on the road, I’ve set each marshal to a special monitoring unit,” Olakpe explained.