By Olasunkanmi Akoni
For residents and road users around the old Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, it has been six months ofÂ traumatic traffic experiences, no thanks to the snail pace of the ongoing road rehabilitation work awarded by the Lagos State Government to two Nigerian engineering design and construction companies to fast-track development in the area.
Even before the rehabilitation commenced, the road had been a source of worry to residents and motorists. But the situation seems to have become worse as they are now being subjected to serious daily traffic snarls, an ordeal that has spilled to residents of Ayobo.
Contract for the project was awarded last December but work commenced sometime in January 2010 and was slated to be completed within six months, that is June, 2010.
The road rehabilitation with a total length 8.6 kilometre was awarded to PlyCon Nigeria Ltd and Bulletin Construction Companies. The former is to handle 4.1 kilometres, which is from Ikotun to Isheri roundabout, while the latter handles 4.5 kilometres from Isheri to Moshalasi road, in Mosan- Okunola Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
While work on Ikotun- Isheri road has reached advanced stage of completion, the opposite is the case on the second phase of it; that is, Isheri-Ikotun road because the job is as good as having been abandoned by the contractor who is presently nowhere to be found and no visible construction work is presently going on.
Vanguard Metro gathered that parts of the factors responsible for the delay on the job have to do with non-availability of adequate funds, high volume of traffic and intermittent rainfall which had been a major constraint to proper execution of work.
It was learnt that the assigned banks were unwilling to release the 30 percent advance payment to contractors as directed and approved by the state government. According to information, the banks only released 15 percent which is half of the total amount expected to be released.
PlyCon was initially supposed to deliver the road for use in June but it later requested for an extension till August because of the obvious constraints being experienced as well as technical reasons.
…As residents decry commissioning of uncompleted project
Project coordinator, Mr Sanni Ahmed and Business Development Manager of PlyCon, Mr Kunle Famous-Cole when contacted disclosed to Vanguard Metro that the Ikotun-Isheri Road will be ready by August for commissioning. He explained that they have started the laying of base course which would pave way for the laying of asphalt as soon as the course base was concluded.
Ahmed disclosed that the company has just secured an approval for insurance bond which would enhance its ability to fund the project and ensure its speedy completion.
He stated that part of the delay was due to the fact that the stone base had to be carefully compacted before asphalt could be laid.
Ahmed said the company was not unaware of the hardship residents and motorists were going through, hence the company has extended its working period as they now also work at night.
â€œAt the completion of the project you will have durable and performance road. We are trying all our best to speed up the job without any compromise on the standard and quality of materials,â€ he stated.
Meanwhile, effort to speak with officials of Bulletin Construction Company was unsuccessful as at press time.
The most disturbing portion of the road project is the Moshalasi-Idimu road axis which had long been abandoned by the contractors to the dismay of road users, while the supervising Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, under the leadership of Engr. Ganiu Johnson, appears to turn a blind eye to the development.
Despite the claim that there is a monitoring team comprising of officials of the Federal Ministry of Works, state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Commissioner for Housing, Director of Road Maintenance as well as Budget, there seems to be no visible work on going at Moshalasi- Idimu axis of the road project.
Ironically, Governor Fashola last week Tuesday commissioned one of the link roads at Egbeda, which is the Olugbede Road, just reconstructed to serve as the alternative route to the ongoing reconstruction of Idimu-Egbeda road. The road, to many users has been rendered useless because the exit routes which interlink it are either locked up due to gated streets or the main road, Idimu-Egbeda road, is just not accessible due to gridlock situation. With the rains falling sporadically,Â some portions of the dual carriage way, specifically between Abule- Odu and Seliat Bus-stop are fast degrading because the graded road is being gradually washed away due to heavy pressure and rainfall.
Some of the residents who spoke with Metro called lashed out on Fashola administration and the state Ministry of Works for poor delivery of the road project.Â Â Â According to Mr. Lasisi, a vulcanizer around the area, â€œthe road they are commissioning has no direct advantage to us because the main road that it suppose to serve is in a mess. You need to see how chaotic this road everyday, especially when it rains, the situation is no going out no coming in.) â€œThe only way this road can adequately serves its purpose is for the state government to speedily ensure the completion of the ongoing main road which has been left in comatose, then they can come and do the commissioning proper.â€