BY MONSURU OLOWOOPEJO
Residents of Ikorodu Local Government have demanded that the state government allow them make input into the ongoing Ikorodu road expansion, since they would be the ones to use the road eventually.
They are therefore asking the government to make public the ‘Master Plan’ for the 13.5 kilometre road expansion project, even as the construction work is rated at 20 percent completion.
The residents also urged the state government to construct a flyover at the Ikorodu roundabout as well as pay compensation as soon as possible to owners of property demolished for the project.
It will be recalled that the road expansion work awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC, was estimated at N30 billion, and is expected to be handed over in December 2014.
The 59-year-old road originally constructed by the Federal Government is being expanded into a six-lane expressway with Bus Rapid Transit, BRT routes in the middle.
The residents spoke at a stakeholder’s forum organized by the Lagos Area Metropolitan Transport Authority, LAMATA held at Agric. Bus Stop, to enlighten the residents on the benefits and the level of work.
They argued that the government had not made the master plan for the expansion work public for them to assess toward providing meaningful inputs.
Enlightenment of residents
Mr. Lambed Gbadamosi, representing Ikorodu Oga Association, lamented that commuter spends over three hours on the road daily since the commencement of the construction work.
Gbadamosi complained that the state government didn’t make public the design for the six-lane road, saying this will further enlighten the residents on the benefits of the road.
According to him, “But today, we are yet to see the design of the road. We don’t know how the road will be after re-construction, what will be included and where certain facilities would be sited on the road.”
He said; “We know that five pedestrian bridges would be constructed in certain bus stops along the road but this cannot be adequate.”
Gbadamosi noted that the aim of the government to reduce travel time on the road may not be achieved if there isn’t a flyover on the road especially at the Ikorodu roundabout.
Also speaking, the President-General of the Ikorodu Association of Nigerian Market Men and Women, Mrs. Afusat Allison warned against the possible consequence of demolishing the markets sited along the ever busy road without proper relocation of the traders.
Although Allison acknowledged government’s plans to build an ultramodern market for Ikorodu, but demanded that the new market should be completed before demolishing the existing ones.
On the impact of demolition, the market leader said; “It is not about what we are selling and where we are selling it per se. But it is about feeding our children. Not just about feeding them alone, it is also about raising funds to send our child to schools. It is about providing basic needs for them. Without a place to trade, how can we meet their needs?
Mr. Ayodele Elesho, another stakeholder, said that the relocation of the market was an important issue that required proper planning, saying; “If the traders are not properly relocated, it will not just affect their business, but also make life difficult for their children.”
He added that many of the market women are breadwinners while some are widows. Others have no social support at all. Elesho, a former commissioner in the state pointed out that there are still some issues about building demolition, which he said, was yet to be settled.
Responding to the issues raised the Managing Director of LAMATA, Dr. Dayo Mobereola assured the market men and women that the government will not demolish their market without providing another suitable place for trading.
Mobereola added that they would be relocated once the new market which is under construction is ready.
Director of Public Transport, Mr. Olugbenga Dairo gave updates about the project execution, which he said, was already 20 percent completed, adding; “It shows that the project would be completed at record time.”