Swaggiee created the topic: Ambode’s Massive Infrastructure Plan
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, at the first Quarterly Town Hall Meeting for 2017, unfolded an ambitious infrastructure plan for the state. Peter Uzoho reports
When Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State announced plans by his administration in 2016 to construct 114 roads in all the 57 local councils and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state simultaneously in six months, many applauded the vision behind the plan but expressed reservation over the successful implementation.
The reservation, to a large extent, could be justified based on the fact that the plan was not only unprecedented in the history of the country, but very many lofty programmes and policies usually end up as white elephant projects.
But Ambode proved pundits wrong and delivered the roads in 2016, a development which brought succour to residents in terms of ease of vehicular movement and improvement in business activities within the communities across the state.
During the announcement, Ambode had also promised that the 114 roads would be a yearly ritual in all the councils in the state to ensure that dividends of democracy are extended to the communities.
But in a bid to consolidate on that massive infrastructural drive, Ambode again at the first Quarterly Town Hall Meeting for 2017 held at the Ajelogo Housing Scheme, Akanimodo, Mile 12, Ketu, announced his readiness to increase the number of the roads from 114 to 181, while the process for the award of the contract commenced last week.
By the ‘Operation 114 Roads’ the State Government, through the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas as well as the Community Development Associations (CDAs), selected two roads in each of the 57 councils for rehabilitation simultaneously, while according to the latest plan, some of the councils will now have more than two roads, especially in areas where there is need to fix other adjourning roads to a major road to improve on the road network.
Speaking at the first Quarterly Town Hall Meeting for 2017, the sixth in the series, held at the Ajelogo Housing Scheme, Ajelogo Market Road, Akanimodo, Mile 12, Ambode explained the rationale behind the idea to scale up the road improvement effort, especially going by the fact that he had received many requests from residents on road construction and rehabilitation.
Even during the interactive session at the Town Hall Meeting, many of the requests were majorly on roads owing to the success of the 114 roads delivered in September 2016, a development which made the Ambode to ensure that the roads captured for 2017 are key roads that would have economic impact on the people living in that axis, hence the increase to 181 roads.
“I want to pronounce here that you should watch out next week in the newspapers, we are advertising 181 roads which would be done in all our local governments.
“What we have found out is that if we decided to continue with two, some of those roads are not linking each other to the main road, so most likely you would see that if we are supposed to do some roads in some local governments, it would only make economic sense if there is a linkage. So you would see in the advert that some local governments would have like three, some would have four roads, but the average is 181 and if you divide that by 57, that would be a minimum of three roads from each local governments,” Ambode said.
The Governor said that the choice of the roads to be constructed had been made by the local governments in conjunction with the engineers, assuring that before the end of the year when the roads would be delivered, the people would be better for it.
Giving his account of stewardship in the last quarter, Ambode said the choice of Akanimodo, Mile 12 as venue for the meeting was to show that the axis has not been left behind in the developmental progress ongoing in the state, saying he had come to listen to the needs of the people and where government intervention was in dire need.
He said in the last quarter, his administration kicked off its ‘Rent-To-Own and Rental Housing Policy’ aimed at providing affordable units across the three Senatorial Districts, disclosing that there are 4,355 housing units available with over 500 applicants prequalified so far even as allocation had commenced.
On the agricultural sector, Ambode said his administration was already looking to build on the first fruits of its partnership with Kebbi State Government with the launch of Lake Rice in December 2016, adding that in the current quarter, the government would embark on the rehabilitation of the Oko-Oba Abattoir and Lairage Complex, Agege in line with the promise to increase meat production output, develop the red meat value chain and restructure the complex for improved operations.
On road infrastructure, Ambode said several initiatives aimed at improving transportation within the metropolis, including Marwa/Depot Road, Ijegun-Egba in Amuwo Odofin, 500 metres-long Imeke-Ajido Bridge in Badagry, Adisa Ajibulu in Oshodi, Adisa Balogun-Igboho Street, Alapere in Kosofe Local Government as well as the signalisation and junction improvement along the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
Ambode also said that the Neighbourhood Safety Corps would become operational in the current quarter with the recruitment of 5,700 personnel, while 100 would be deployed to each of the local government to complement the efforts of other security agencies in policing the state.
Expressing optimism that 2017 holds great expectations for Lagos, especially as the state gets set to mark its landmark Golden Jubilee on May 27, Ambode said his administration would continue with its urban regeneration initiatives by building new infrastructure and maintaining existing ones.
He listed some of the key projects to be done to include Agric-Isawo-Arepo Road in Ikorodu, Ajelogo–Akanimodo Road Rehabilitation, Oshodi to Murtala Mohammed Airport Road, Ketu-Alapere Inner Roads Phase II, Oke Oso–Araga–Poka in Epe, Topo Garage to VIP Chalet in Badagry, Ladipo Market Road and Multilayer Car Park , Mushin and establishment of Bus Terminals and depots in Yaba, Ikeja, Oyingbo, Anthony, Ketu and Toll Gate, while more beneficiaries will receive funding from the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund in January.
“As we continue the task of ensuring good governance in our dear state, I am confident that 2017 will bring succour and new opportunities that will foster prosperity for Lagos State and all its residents. Our party, the APC, remains focused on making Lagos the progressive sign post for all. I thank all our party leaders and members for their loyalty and support,” he said.
At questions and answers time, which was the main idea behind the town hall meeting, people had the opportunity to talk directly to the Governor on areas and issues that should be attended to.
One after the other, residents took turn to ask questions on issues bordering them, ranging from the need to provide more roads, health centres, schools, among others.
A resident, Chief R.O. Ajayi had fired the first set of questions where he inundated the Governor with barrage of infrastructural development requests for Agboyi community and environs including construction of roads, link bridges, pedestrian bridge, rehabilitation and return of Ajegunle Junior High School, among others.
Another resident, Olumide Folami drew the attention of the Governor to flooding in Princess Bola Kazeem area, as well as the need for government to construct schools and health centre in the area.
On his part, Dr. Pascal Edomime urged the Governor to come to the aid of residents of Irawo whom he said had built their road to about 70 per cent completion state through communal effort, while Yeye Dupe Ojo from Mile 12 talked about the need for government to fix Kujore Street, Quadri-Anibaba Road, as well as provide secondary school for Agiliti and Maidan communities.
Alhaja Dalemo Olukoga, the Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairperson for Ikorodu West and Prince Ladega Ibrahim Olukoga also talked about the need to provide health centre and secondary school for Ikorodu West, new market on available land space at Fola Ahmed Street, fixing of the Itoikin Road and transformation of the Agboyi-Ketu community.
Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, in his remarks, urged the Governor to give priority to the construction of Adeniji-Adele Road and ensure the construction of other roads that deserve utmost attention in Lagos Island.
He also urged the Governor to improve the standard of markets in the area to enviable standards, while urging total reconstruction of non-approved and unauthorised buildings already built within major markets in Lagos Island.
Akiolu further urged Lagosians to continue to cooperate with and support the present administration as well as desist from any form of clandestine meetings that may undermine the progress of Governor Ambode’s administration.
Responding to questions that bordered on security, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said with the continued support of the State Government, the Command increased the number of personnel in Ketu-Epe Police Post from two to seventy to effectively combat kidnapping and other crimes in Agbowa, Itoikin and environs, as well as transformed the hitherto abandoned Iyun Police Post to anti-kidnapping unit, while two gun boats were moved to Ejirin.
Owoseni, however, urged traditional rulers and community elders to caution their subjects especially the youths on the need to be law abiding, shun all forms of criminal activities, and only be engaged in lawful means of livelihood.
While responding to questions raised on provision of health centres, Special Adviser to Governor Ambode on Primary Health Care, Dr. Femi Onanuga said at the moment, the government has 288 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) across the state with plans to construct another two as well as starting renovation work on 35 PHCs.
Onanuga said government has also perfected plans to equip 35 PHCs with another two, while the total number of PHCs in the state would be increased to 290, adding that Ambode has approved that PHCs, from now onwards, should offer 24 hours service as against the former eight hours service.
He also disclosed that a public spirited Lagosian has already donated a PHC worth N70 million to government along Agbelekale-Aboru axis.
Also speaking, Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, said the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) of the present administration would be implemented and a total of 40, 000 people would be employed starting from June 2017.
The Governor, who took down notes during the interactive session, gave instant answers to some questions, while he directed the affected ministries and agencies of government to intervene in areas requiring intervention.
For instance, the Governor directed that a stakeholder’s meeting should be convened on the issue of Ilaje Road in Bariga raised by one Elder Omoniyi owing to the fact that the road was narrow and some houses would have to give way for the construction.
On Irawo Road, Ambode ordered the Public Works Corporation to move to site within seven days and complete the project to appreciate the communal effort of the people, while promising to look into all the issues raised by residents.
Speaking on the sidelines of the town hall meeting, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Kosofe II, Tunde Buraimoh and Prince Rotimi Agunsoye representing Kosofe Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, commended the idea behind the meeting, saying that it was important for the government and the governed to meet and decide on issue of governance.
“There is no gainsaying that without any equivocation, without mincing words, I say categorically, emphatically without any fear of correction and contradiction that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is God-sent to Lagos. He is fantastic, he is someone who is even a noiseless engine. He is not the type that will use N1, 000 to do a project and use N10, 000 on publicity. The Governor is doing what he was supposed to do as matter of routine and achievement in governance has become a routine in Lagos.
“The Governor is not cosmetic; he does not do propaganda but yet every corner, every locality in Lagos is now a construction site from Oshodi to Alimosho to Epe to Kosofe. I say kudos to him,” Agunloye said.
There is no doubt that town hall meetings, which have been consistent under the watch of Ambode have brought government nearer to the people; they have also made government officials to be more accountable. And aside the fact that the state is warming up to commemorate its landmark Golden Jubilee Anniversary on May 27, there is huge optimism and excitement in the air that Governor Ambode’s track record of delivering on his campaign promises would yet again become evident on the long list of capital projects on his itinerary within the next 11 months.
If its Not Makn Moni...ets Not Makn SeNsE...#KEEPING YOU KLEEQERS UPDATED!!