By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has confirmed receiving from Federal Government sizeable percentage of funds spent by the state on rehabilitating Federal roads.
Ambode’s confirmation yesterday came barely three months after the Senate approved the executive request to refund N489 billion to 21 states, as funds spent rehabilitating federal roads within their states.
According to the Senate, Lagos State topped the 21-state list with N114.6 billion, while Akwa-Ibom State came second with N78.7 billion.
The governor, who disclosed receipt of the fund at the flag off ceremony of Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway, lamented that the state of the road demanded that total reconstruction should have been embarked upon years back.
He stressed that his administration was already in the process of utilizing the funds to deliver other ongoing projects across the state in the next few months.
Ambode. However, noted that reconstruction of the road would bring permanent relief to motorists and residents over the perennial gridlock in the axis and enhance movement within the State.
The governor said it was particularly gratifying that the project would be done using concrete, expressing optimism that it would ensure the road last over forty years.
“Whatever it is that has been taking place in this particular project has always been rehabilitation and every Nigerian should be reminded that this road has been in place for more than 40 years.
“This is the first time the government at the centre is embarking on reconstruction, that means we are going to excavate everything all the way from Apapa, Oshodi to Oworonshoki and Ojota Expressway and actually reconstruct it, using concrete instead of asphalt because Lagos is below sea level, if you use asphalt, within seven to eight years, it would wash away because we are under water.
“So the concrete template is being used to give us a long lasting solution to this Apapa gridlock and this road will last for more than 40 years and we believe strongly that the PPP platform that has been given to this project to allow the private sector invest their money in it being driven by Alhaji Dangote is the best solution that we can use to develop public infrastructure right now and we must commend the Minister for that,” the Governor added.
Preempting what would happen after construction works commence, he appealed for understanding, saying that though the commencement of the project might bring some inconvenience, the end result would be a permanent solution to the gridlock that had bedeviled the area over the years.
He assured that the State Government on its part would deploy more traffic and enforcement officers to ensure free flow of traffic in the course of the construction.
“The future of development and infrastructure actually lies in the present administration and the future of the prosperity of this country lies in the hands of President Buhari and we make no mistake about it that it is in our own interest that we continue to support the present government of APC at the centre and also at the State for continuity and greater deliverables of infrastructure, goods and services,” Ambode said.