Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Lagos State governor, on Wednesday said that work on the proposed expansion and reconstruction of the Oshodi-International Airport Road will commence next month.
The governor, who spoke at the Third Quarter Town Hall Meeting, the eighth in the series, held at the Badore Ferry Terminal, Lagos, also disclosed that plans are already underway to commence the construction of 181 local government roads next month.
On the Oshodi-International Airport Road, Governor Ambode said the construction, which had already been awarded, would see the transformation of the road from four lanes to 10 lanes from Oshodi to the International Airport, with interchange and flyover that would drop commuters to the Local Airport.
Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in May 2017, approved that the Oshodi-International Airport Road be handed over to the Lagos State government for total reconstruction.
Ambode, who had then described the current state of the road as a national disgrace, said that work would begin in earnest come September.
On the delay in the commencement of rehabilitation of 181 inner roads, Ambode said the development was due to the fluctuation in dollar rate at the time the bid was last opened, but that a new bid would be opened in the next two weeks, while work would commence in September.
“By the next two to three weeks, I will reopen the advert to get a new cost and, all things been equal, the job would start on the roads by end of September,” he said.
Ambode also assured residents that the State Public Works would seize the period of the break of the rainy season to fix all potholes across the state in order to improve drive time for motorists.
On the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) billed to commence next month, Ambode urged the people to be patient with his administration as the plan which, he described as a holistic and comprehensive waste management policy, was currently in its gestation period.
He said once fully operational, waste would be collected in line with international best practices, while all parts of the state would be kept clean always.
The governor urged residents to adopt new attitude to disposing waste and desist from dumping in drainages and canals, assuring that the government would provide adequate bins to discourage indiscriminate dumping.
“The question to ask is why are people putting their waste in the drains and canals hoping that somehow the water will flush it away? The answer comes back to government because we have not been able to provide the people with enough bins or places where they can put the dirt.
“They cannot leave the dirt in the house so they must have a channel to get it out. As government been able to provide enough locations, bins, bags and so on where they can put that refuse and then we can collect it and when we collect it efficiently, as part of their attitude, they will not go back to the canals and the drains. They will only go back to where we have provided for them.
“Now, so we have enough equipment to clean Lagos? Are we having enough dino bins, plastic bags, compactors that can go round the population of 22 million people? The answer before now is no.
“We are the largest waste producer in the world more than New York. New York produces 10,000 tonnes of waste every day, the waste accounted for in Lagos is 13,000 tonnes per day not to talk of areas that are not documented”.
“Do we have enough equipment and compactors? We don’t have, but how do we have it? We have not increased the taxes you are paying. The population is increasing and by that fact the waste is increasing and we have not increased revenue.
“But, we need new equipment. Some people were doing it for us before but we all saw the equipment they have been using to clean up the state and the truth is it can never do it right.
“If we say we want to be a smart city and globally competitive, we must use the approach that allows you to collect waste in a globally competitive way and that is what we have done with the CLI without me punishing tax payers.
“We have a partnership that provides 500 brand new compactors without me paying one naira yet and with the partnership, we will provide 27,500 sanitation workers in all our wards across the state who will be uniformed and clean Ikorodu, Ayobo the same way they clean Victoria Island and then they will provide bins where our people can now have the culture and attitude to put their dirt in the bins instead of putting it in the canals and drains,” Ambode said.
Ambode said that all the 20 Local Government and 37 Local Council Development Chairmen had been mandated to ensure 24/7 cleaning of the environment, while officials of the state government would be moving round to evacuate waste.
As part of the initiatives to enhance commuting within the state, the governor said new modern bus terminals would be constructed commencing from this quarter in Marina, Ajah, Ojota, Agege, Iju Ishaga and Iyana Ipaja, while as part of the integrated transport system, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) would be constructed to connect Badore Jetty to Ajah.
Ambode maintained that his administration had earned the trust of Lagosians in the last 26 months, adding that taxes paid had been judiciously utilised to make life more comfortable for residents in the state.
He therefore thanked Lagosians for cooperating and helping his administration to translate its visions and plans for the state to reality, noting that without their taxes, it would have been impossible.
“I urge all other taxable individuals yet to join the tax net to go to the nearest Lagos State Inland Revenue office to register. Feel free to honour your civic obligations. We believe we have earned your trust. Every kobo paid as tax will be judiciously used for the good of Lagosians.
“Our government feels emboldened by the tremendous support and cooperation you have continued to give us. This was also evident in your action of July 22 when you voted massively for the All Progressives Congress during the just-concluded local government elections,” Ambode said.
He added that the Badore Road would be expanded at its entrance from Ajah Roundabout, while plans were afoot to construct Oke-Ira Nla Road as an alternative to totally eliminate traffic along the axis.
Responding to complaints by a resident of the axis, Mrs Abiodun Dina, on the activities of dredgers who were fond of destroying the road and parking indiscriminately thereby subjecting people to avoidable traffic snarl, Ambode said in as much as government was not interested in shutting down businesses, he would have to wield the big stick if the dredgers failed to comply with rules of engagement.
The town hall meeting had in attendance the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu I, members of the State Executive Council (SEC), members of the House of Assembly, top government functionaries, party chieftains, traditional rulers, among others.