We don’t need FG’s approval to construct bridges — LASG

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BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI & mONSUR OLOWOOPEJO

LAGOS—LAGOS State Government, yesterday, said it did not need the permission of the Federal Government to construct bridges and other peoples-oriented projects.

This followed the current legal tussle over tolling of the newly commissioned Ikoyi–Lekki Link Bridge instituted by an activist and Lagos lawyer, Mr. Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa.

Also, state government, as part of efforts at finding solution to boat mishaps in the state, will today hold public hearing.

The Government who spoke through the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, during the 2014 Ministerial briefing, noted that the state government had normally consulted relevant individuals and stakeholders before embarking on project execution.

According to him; “We do not need the Federal Government’s permission to build a bridge in Lagos. That is the reality, we do not, but like I said we work with a lot of stakeholders when building bridges or roads. It is not just Federal Government even tenant and home owners on the road, we have to talk to them.

If you recall during the commissioning of the Ikoyi –Lekki Link Bridge, the governor commended former President Umar Musa Yar’Adua that he gave up four buildings belonging to the Federal Government to enable us execute the project.

“We demolished four Federal buildings and that when he spoke to him, the then President just told him to go and remove them. That shows that there is discussion. If those building do not belong to the Federal Government, we will need the permission of the owner. We will compensate him in doing the bridge, we will have discussion. But to build a bridge in Lagos we don’t need the federal government’s permission.

We should make that clear but if the federal government owns asset that will be affected just like any other human being, we need to talk to them.”

Hamzat, however, said the state government had completed over 161 roads measuring 147 – 347 kilometres from 2011 till date, while 211 roads were currently ongoing across the state.

He explained that in the process of developing infrastructure, the ministry created over 92, 339 jobs for people.

Stakeholders’ forum

Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, while addressing the committee on Ikorodu Boat Mishap, said the public hearing would take place at the Ministry of Transportation Conference Room, Alausa.

He urged relevant stakeholders and interested members of the public to attend the forum to collectively identify the problems and challenges associated with water transportation as well as proffer solutions and ensure the safety of the lives of the passengers who daily travelled on the waterways.

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