Ambode: We’ll Soon Restore Apapa’s Glory

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• Pledges to complete Oshodi-Airport road by Nov 2018 •Says clamour for restructuring not out of place

Gboyega Akinsanmi
In response to intractable traffic congestion crippling the Apapa Central Business District, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode Tuesday promised that his administration would soon restore the pristine glory of Apapa as a hub of economic prosperity.

Ambode also assured that the 10-lane Oshodi-Airport road, which his administration started reconstructing about three months ago, would be completed by November 2018 in line with the plan.

He gave the assurance at the nineth quarterly townhall meeting he addressed yesterday at Kosofe Local Government Area, Ogudu, where he expressed concern about the devastating effect of intractable gridlock in Apapa.

The meeting was attended by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, former Deputy Governor, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, former Speakers of the House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Hon. Jokotola Pelumi, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I and members of the State Executive Council.

At the meeting, the governor acknowledged that the traffic situation in the Apapa area in recent times “has been of major concern to our administration” citing its devastative impact on the national economy.
He noted that the state government had put measures in place to address it, disclosing that about 43 major link roads affected by rain would be rehabilitated before the end of the year.

He added that the state government “will therefore not relent in our efforts to reclaim Apapa as a liveable part of Lagos and return it to its pristine glory as a hub of economic prosperity.”
Ambode, also, gave more insight into the reconstruction of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport road into a 10-lane highway of world class standard, noting that it “is our plan to complete the project within the next 15months – November 2018.”

He said the state government would always stand with the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the need to  restructure and entrench true federalism.

The governor added that the clamour across the country for restructuring was not out of place as the current political structure was seriously hindering Nigeria’s development.

He said: “I support true federalism. I support all the issues our leader raised. We are on the same page. That is the page of APC. That is where we are and that is what we are committed to. Like I have always said, we need to deal with issues that relate to devolution of powers.

“Like somebody said, if I have more resources, all these items that you are coming to raise here. Once you raise it, I will just say done. I need more money. So, why should somebody be saying they are the ones in charge of inland waterways when the waterways are transporting my own people and my own services and when there is a law about it.”

Ambode decried attempts from the central government to regulate hotels and entertainment centres in the state despite the existence of Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law enacted by the Lagos State House of Assembly.
He said: “We enact a law and somebody says he wants to do another law that regulates hotels inside Lagos. Is it not because of the roads that they put hotel there? That is what devolution of power is saying.

“If these things are on residual list, let local government and states deal with them. That is all that we are asking for. It is not that we will generate Value Added Tax (VAT) here and somebody will be sharing 50 per cent of the VAT somewhere else,” the governor explained.
Ambode also tasked chairmen of the 20 local government and 37 local council development areas to look into the welfare of persons living with disabilities and the elderly, noting that the all inclusive mantra of his administration should be felt in every part of the state.