The Project 114 Roads was conceived by the Akinwunmi Ambode administration in Lagos State as part of efforts to improve infrastructure in the state. A week to his first year in office, Ambode spent five days commissioning projects scattered across the state. Adejobi Adebayo reports.
When Akinwunmi Ambode took over the mantle of leadership ofLagos State, he knew failure was not an option. And one thing that has worked for him and saved him from hawks of critics is that he chose to pick his priorities. He never deluded himself that he could do everything. The two areas he has picked up were infrastructure and security. Though his handlers say it does not mean that other sectors will suffer.
But it seems deeper than that. Ambode seemed to have also realised that for any impact of his efforts at repositioning the state could be felt, he had to involve the local governments as well as the local council development areas. That was why each local government and LCDA was told to construct at least two roads per each local government in the first phase of the road construction scheme.
And as the local council bosses settled down, it has been project commissioning galore for Ambode. And that is why in the last 11 months, every local government in the state has felt the impact of the present administration through one project or the other.
“From upgrade of road infrastructure to schools’ upgrade as well as street light projects, the wind of change blowing through the state is fast sweeping across all the 20 local governments and 37 LCDAs,” and aide of the governor told THISDAY during the week.
Speaking on the 114 LG roads, Ambode said “the feat is unprecedented in the history of Lagos and this has provided employment to over 9,000 citizens directly and indirectly within the year. Counterpart funding of more than 60% has been committed by the state to ensure speedy completion of the exercise before the end of June, 2016.”
As part of plans to mark his one year in office, series of projects, including those executed by the local and state government, were commissioned across the 57 councils and LCDAs. For five days, the governor, represented by some of his aides, was on the road commissioning projects.
On Monday May16, the train moved to Apapa, Ajeromi, Kosofe, Ikorodu and Badagry local governments. At Apapa Local Government, the projects commissioned by the governor included nine roads within the Apapa Business District, an ultra-modern Liverpool Jetty, 12 blocks of classrooms at Methodist Nursery and Primary School and four blocks of classrooms at Arakan Barracks Nursery and Primary School with standard facilities such as modern toilets, sick bay, furniture, ceiling fans, ramps to accommodate the physically challenged, among others. Roads commissioned were Marine Road, Bombay Crescent, Randle Road, Ibikunle Akintoye Street, Commercial Road, Burma Road, Plateau Road, Zeek Avenue, Marine Road Extension and Connector Road; otherwise known as Bombay Crescent to Calcutta Road Phase III.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, said the projects were in sync with his promise of running an all-inclusive government where no area would be left behind.
The next stop was Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government where an ultra-modern court complex and a 360-meter interlocking road with drainage situated in Aduke Street were commissioned. In Ikorodu, Ambode was represented by the Commissioner for the Environment, Hon. Babatunde Adejare, and projects commissioned included Ota-Ona Dual Carriage Road as well as block of classrooms in Agbede.
At Badagry, Ambode was represented by the Special Adviser on Education, Obafela Bank-Olemo, who dedicated a block of 16 classrooms and another block of eight classrooms, as well as six classrooms in Badagry West Local Council Development Area.
At Kosofe, Oluseye Oladejo, Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, represented the governor and road projects commissioned included Oladele, Shoyebi and Ademola Taiwo/Alamu Taiwo/Ogunsola Streets.
At Ifako- Ijaye Local Government, Ambode was represented by the Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Folorunsho Folarin Coker, and he commissioned Oluwasijibomi, Folorunsho Streets and Iju Primary Health Care Centre. He said the era of spending tax payers’ money on white elephant projects not needed by the people was gone in the state. He added that the state has experienced improved physical and urban development, proper land administration and illumination of its highways and streets.
Of special importance was the Mosan Okunola Mini Water Works which has been abandoned for over two decades. The project was completed and commissioned by the governor. Mrs. Aramide Giwanson, Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, said the state now has 33 Mini Waterworks and five Major Waterworks.
Giwanson said the administration of Ambode was on a steady journey to achieve the daily production of 540 million gallons of water to meet the demand of about 22 million people of the State, adding that presently, the state is producing 210 million gallons of water per day.
A community leader and pioneer chairman of Mosan Okunola LCDA, Elder Abel Gbadejo, said that just in less than a year in office, Governor Ambode has performed creditably well, adding that the water project would improve the life style of people in the area because water is very important.
In Oshodi Isolo Local Government Area, the governor commissioned the popular Brown Street, Okota Road in Isolo and a police post in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of the State. It must be noted that Brown Street had been in dilapidated form for years until the state government awarded the contract to Messrs Lubrik Construction Company Limited in October last year to rehabilitate and upgrade the road.
In continuation of his commitment to security of lives and property in the state, the governor also commissioned the rehabilitated Ashamu Police Post in Ailegun, Ejigbo and handed it over to the police. Area Commander of the police post, Salisu Gyadigyadi, who represented the state police commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, while commending the governor, said the importance of citing the police post at Ailegun could not be over-emphasised as it would checkmate criminal activities around the area and to checkmate the influx of undesirable element in Ejigbo and Ijegun areas.
In Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Ambode was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Lola Akande, and she handed over 10 passengers capacity fibre boats to Riverine Communities in local government as well as Oriade Local Council Development Area in Ijegun Jetty to aid in conveying school teachers working in riverine area.
In Oshodi Isolo Local Government Area, the Governor commissioned the popular Brown Street, Okota Road in Isolo and a Police Post in Ejigbo Local Council Development Area of the State.
Brown Street had been in dilapidated form for years until the Lagos State Government awarded the contract to Messrs Lubrik Construction Company Limited in October, 2015 to rehabilitate and upgrade the road. The road, with a length of 690metres has the economic importance of improving the standard of living in the area, enhance property values, abate flooding in the area, improve traffic flow and shorter travel time for road users. Speaking at the commissioning of the road, Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Muslim Folami, said he had promised during his inauguration to run a government of inclusion that would not leave anyone behind and where everyone would have a voice.
Also at the commissioning of Usman Mogaji Road in Ajangbadi, the governor advised the residents to make good use of the road and ensure they pay their taxes as at when due. A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Ayo Ogunlana, commended Ambode for the laudable strides he has recorded in just 11 months in office.
In Amuwo Odofin Local Government, the Governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Lola Akande formally handed over 10 passengers’ capacity fibre boats to Riverine Communities in Amuwo Odofin Local Government and Oriade Local Council Development Area in Ijegun Jetty to aid in conveying school teachers based in riverine areas.
In Epe, the governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Community and Communications, Kehinde Bamigbetan, commissioned projects which include blocks of classroom at St. Theresa’s College, Oke-Oyingbo, a Town Hall at Ita-Opo, Epe and Regional Water Scheme, Otta-Ikosi, while in Eti-Osa, the 1.9km Unity/1st Avenue Osapa London Road in Eti-Osa Local Government and block of 16 classrooms with modern facilities at Kuramo Primary School in Iru-Victoria Island LCDA.
The governor also inaugurated the Job Registration and Labour Exchange Centre for the Lagos Division in Eti-Osa Local Government as part of the employment creation and wealth generation initiative of his administration. In Shomolu Local Government, Ambode commissioned a Primary Health Centre and Diagnosis Centre named after him and a 400-metre road in Bariga Local Council Development Area.
Speaking while inaugurating the Primary Health Care Centre (PHC), Governor Ambode, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Art and Culture, Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, said that the Centre would cater for the health needs of residents and reduce the incidences of maternal mortality. He said the 400metres of Baptist Church Street would link several communities in the area, even as he warned against destruction of the roads by plumbers and other artisans.
While it is commendable what the governor has been able to do in one year, especially in the area of road construction, a resident of Ifako Ijaye Local Government, Adefemi David, said focus should also be on roads that have not been constructed before at all. He said he noticed that what has been happening was rehabilitation instead of outright tarring of roads that have not been tarred before. He said this is what the people will feel most as there are areas where people feel their roads might never be tarred.