Democratic Peoples’ Alliance (DPA) has urged the Lagos State Government to impose and enforce handover deadlines on contractors handling projects in the state and to collaborate with the Federal Government to rehabilitate all major roads in the state.
The party said its investigations showed that contractors failed to respect set deadlines when executing building, road, drainage and other projects in the state.”
“Some of the road projects have dragged on for over two years, with the contractors mobilised to site and apparently running on the spot, with little to show for the project lifespan, carrying on as if the projects would last ad infinitum,” DPA said in a statement by its Lagos State Director of Publicity, Felix Oboagwina.
It cited the cases of Governors Road (Association Avenue) and Council-Pipeline stretch in Alimosho Local Government, Old Abeokuta Motor Road in Agege, Iju Road, College Road in Iju, Agiliti in Mile 12, Ago Palace Way and virtually all the roads in Okota, Old Badagry Road Ojo, Ketu Alapere, Ijegun-Isheri road in Isolo, among many others.
According to the party, a businessman who plied the Ijegun-Isheri road in Isolo for example said he had lost two cars to the bad roads.
In the words of the party: “Many of these roads are as good as abandoned projects; nothing is going on, with contractors’ machines long silenced in what looks like dead work yards. These delays spell countless inconvenience for the road users, especially in this rainy season.”
The party advised that project completion deadlines should be prioritized, instead of government taking it out on Okada commercial motorcycles, which provide crucial escape as transport of choice for commuters dodging pothole-induced traffic jams.
Furthermore, DPA said things had got to a head with falling heavy-duty vehicles, tankers and container transporters, becoming a daily occurrence along the Apapa-Oshodi corridor, Ikorodu highway and the Lagos-Ijebu Ode highway via Ikorodu.
“We understand that many of the roads belong to the Federal Government that has the responsibility to put them in proper shape. But nothing bars the state from providing Intelligence to the Federal Government and drawing attention to these roads so that Lagosians can have a smooth ride to and fro their places of business,” the DPA said.
It urged the Lagos government to drum into the Federal Government’s ears the need to tackle the bad portions of the Lagos-Ibadan and Lagos-Abeokuta expressways.
Describing the matter as urgent, DPA said bad roads had added up to indices helping Lagos’s negative rating as the costliest city in Africa and the 30th in the world according to the Mercer 2008 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.
Other negative indices haunting the state, according to the party, included high land use charges, soaring transportation charges, cost of doing business, double taxation, unparalleled crime and unbridled corruption and the rampant poverty amongst over 60 percent of Lagosians.
DPA further submitted that the situation exposed the weakness of Governor Raji Fashola’s personal supervision of the Ministry of Works: “We have always said it that the portfolio of the Governor is too serious to be combined with that of the Ministry. The Works Ministry is just too crucial a portfolio to be handled by a busy person as busy as His Excellency.”