The Ogun State government on Tuesday declared its readiness to take over the construction of the LagosOta-Abeokuta road from the Federal Government and transform it into a world-class carriageway.
The road which runs through Lagos and Ogun states, has been in a deplorable condition for years, resulting in untold hardship for motorists, especially citizens of Ogun State.
The Governor Dapo Abiodun-led administration has been providing palliatives on the road since 2019.
Efforts by Prince Abiodun, in conjunction with his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu were rebuffed by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, the unrelenting efforts of Governor Abiodun finally yielded fruit on Monday when the federal government announced its approval for the Ogun State Government to embark on the reconstruction of the dilapidated road and toll it.
Minister of Works, David Umahi, spoke on the new federal government position after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Aso Villa, Abuja on Monday.
“On permission to build federal roads, when such requests are made, we give approval within 24 hours but then there are conditions to be met – they must have to use the Federal Ministry of Works standard designs,” Umahi said.
Appreciating the gesture of the federal government while commending Governor Abiodun for his resilience in pursuit of the approval, Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya, declared that the state is ready to take on the project and end the many years of suffering of her people.
Akinsanya, who recalled that the struggle to get the approval from the federal government started immediately Governor Abiodun was sworn in in 2019, said the decision to allow Ogun take over the project is the best thing that can happen to the people of the state and other users of the road.
Saying the Governor never stopped decrying the decrepit state of the road, the Commissioner said: “Severally, Governor Abiodun and Governor Jide Sanwoolu of Lagos State wrote the presidency and the federal works ministry seeking the handover of among other roads, the Lagos-Sango Ota-Abeokuta road, Ikorodu-Ogijo-Sagamu road and Sagamu-Ijebu Ode-Benin road.
“But the response then was that all the roads were under contracts at the time, so nothing happened. But our governor, determined to see and end to the hardship being experienced by our people, did not give up until he was able to seal the deal on Sunday.”
Explaining that the length of the road is roughly 70km with Ogun having about 61km and Lagos State, 9km, Akinsanya said even while waiting for the approval, the state administration kept doing all it can to make the road manageable for motorists.
“Ogun State has been rehabilitating the road since 2019. We kept doing palliative works because the governor is always concerned about the sufferings being experienced by the people. He remained concerned about the deplorable state of the road till he got what he wanted from the federal government.
“With the transfer done now, we are happy and ready to immediately take over the project and turn around the fortunes of the road. It’s what we’ve been looking for, praying for since we came on board. We will take over immediately, subject to paper works between us and the federal ministry,” he stated further.
Akinsanya added that the state is going to work with the federal ministry of works to meet the criteria of the federal government.
“We are working on how to fund the project. Aside from the road, we will have trailer parks and other infrastructure in place. It will be in partnership with some other stakeholders. It’s a PPP project and work will start as soon as possible.
“The governor has done very well in securing this approval despite the delay. We will still work with Lagos State on a lot of modalities. This is why we are the Gateway.
“The work will be accelerated so that delivery will be swift. We will give the best standard in the shortest time possible. We appreciate the minister for supporting our quest all along. Governor Abiodun is still working hard for more of this,” he added.