The governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, and his Lagos State counterpart, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have asked the federal government to transfer the dilapidated Lagos-Abeokuta road to the two states for reconstruction.
Speaking with journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, Abiodun said he met with the president to submit a letter seeking for a transfer of this federal road, which he said is in a deplorable state, to both states.
According to him, if the request is granted, both Lagos and Ogun states will commercialise the road and take the burden of reconstruction off the federal government.
“I also shared with him the pains on the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road as well. I came with a letter that I have written earlier on and pictures, to show him the deplorable state of this road.
‘’The Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road is probably the second busiest road in this country. This road is in such a deplorable condition and we understand that the federal government cannot afford to build all the roads at the same time, but as a state government, Lagos State government and I have written to Mr. President, asking Mr. President to transfer that road to us.
“It’s a commercial road and we’ll commercialise it so that we can take that burden off the federal government,” he said.
Abiodun also said the road connecting the Lagos port to Agbara, which he described as the biggest industrial centre in the country, is an eyesore.
According to him, the road has completely collapsed to the extent that trucks conveying raw materials and finished goods between Agbara and the port often get involved in accident because of its deplorable state.
He said the situation had become so frustrating to multinational companies operating in the hub to the extent that they had threatened to leave the country.
He said it was against this background that he came to put the president on notice about the decision of his administration to take up the responsibility of reconstructing this federal
According to him, he wanted the president to inform the Ministry of Works and Housing about the development so that money expended on the reconstruction could be refunded to Ogun State later.
He said: “Our biggest industrial hub in this country is the Agbara Industrial Estate. There’s a road that goes from Agbara to Lusada to Atan.
“That road is the road that leads to this Agbara Industrial Estate. That road is in such a deplorable state that trailers that are coming from the port, taking goods that need to be processed and finished to this industrial estate; trailers that are taking finished goods from the industrial estate to the rest of the country or back to the port, continue to have accidents and delays to the point where some of the multinationals have threatened to leave the country and go to another country.
‘So, I came with a letter, requesting Mr. President to note that because our people do not know the difference between a federal and a state road, this road has continued to be an embarrassment, not just to us in Ogun State, but to the entire country.
“This place is important to us for the economic survival of our state and the country at large. We have decided to intervene in the road, ourselves as a state and wanted Mr. President to know that we are going to construct that road at our expense and wanted him to inform the Federal Ministry of Works that we’ll be doing so and we’ll also be making demands on them for a full refund for the construction of that road.”
Abiodun said he was glad that the president promised to offer the needed support to execute the projects.
“I’m glad to say that Mr. President was very pleased with these our discussions and these applications and has promised to see what he will do to give us the necessary support so that this can also help us in the economic upliftment of our region,” he said.
Asked to comment on the current fuel price hike, he said, “first, you want to enjoy lower prices when the prices of crude are low and then not want to pay for a slight increase when there is an increase in price of crude.
“The price of crude is directly proportional to the price of refined products. So, I believe that is what is happening at the moment,” he said.
Also reacting to the increase in electricity tariffs, he said, “we all complain that we are not generating enough electricity and we all complain about the fact that we don’t have the right infrastructure to transmit electricity; we complain about the fact that the distribution companies do not seem to be efficient. The problem is because, perhaps, the pricing is not right.”