..As Fashola, Ashafa flag-off “legacy road” project

..Directs use of residents for labour

.. Implores residents, motorists to bear with govt while construction lasts

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

The Federal Government has assured Lagos and Ogun State residents of early completion of the on going reconstruction of N20.8Bn Ikorodu – Shagamu Express Way project, saying, the construction firm has been given 36 months to deliver project.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, who led other dignitaries, gave the assurance yesterday, in their separate address at the epoch making groundbreaking of the reconstruction road project, which is a link between Lagos and Ogun States, held at Ikorodu, Lagos end.

Ongoing expansion of  Ikorodu Road project

The event was also witnessed by Special Adviser to President Muhammed Buhari on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Ikorodu council of Obas(traditional rulers), residents, among others.

Federal Executive Council (FEC) had earlier approved N20.8 billion for the rehabilitation of the Shagamu-Ikorodu Express Road project.

The rehabilitation of the road it was said will reduce the operating costs and movement of petroleum products and agricultural products between Lagos and Ogun states.

In his terse address, Ashafa said,” I recall that while campaigning for the opportunity to represent the people of Ikorodu at the Senate, the rehabilitation of this stretch of road was their paramount request.

“At the time, I and other candidates committed ourselves to ensuring that this road was prioritized and rehabilitated. On my own, I had to become an “alarm clock” in the ears of the Minister, who assured me severally that the project would be commenced before the end of the first tenure of this administration.”

While commending the minister for keeping his promise and also allowing him to keep the promise to the people of Ikorodu, Ashafa noted that the effect of this road construction would be immense and the benefits immeasurable.

“Certainly, the effect of the entire process beginning from the construction phase to the completion and use of this critical infrastructure would be of direct benefit to all.

“I am aware that this project would in addition to the ultimate ease and comfort expected on completion, would also create thousands of direct jobs in the areas of skilled and unskilled labour throughout the period of construction.

“Further to the above, the reconstruction of this road would create a viable alternative to the Lagos – Ibadan expressway as a means of connecting Ogun State from Lagos.

“We also expect it to facilitate more trade opportunities in the area of exchange of goods and services between both states and improvement of access for our rural dwellers.”

Ashafa therefore, called on the people of Ikorodu and indeed all stakeholders to cooperate with the Federal Government and the contractor handling the project in order to expedite its completion.

“Through these 36 months, we are likely to experience inconveniences in the form of road closures, lane alternation or delays due to presence of equipment on the road. I urge you to consider these inconveniences minor sacrifice for our greater good and comfort.”

He also called on the contractors whose track records of quality precede them, to ensure that local participation is paramount throughout the construction of the project.”Also, local content must be the watch word in sourcing for materials to be used where such is available within this jurisdiction.”

Ashafa expressed confidence that in 36 months everyone would again gathered by the grace of God, to witness the commissioning of the “legacy project.”

Fashola, in his address, however, directed the contractor handling the project to give priority for the engagement of residents who are willing to offer services in the construction process.

He said, “The federal Government at the Federal Executive council meeting of Wednesday, 28 March 2018, awarded he contract for the full rehabilitation of the Lagos –Shagamu Express road which passes through Odogunyan Ogijo, Likosi Mosimi Sotubo before terminating at Shagamu in Ogun State at the cost of N20,8453382480 to contractor with a contract period of 36 months.

“It should be emphasized that the scope of works involves the full reconstruction of the road which hitherto has been in a very poor condition and requires urgent intervention.

“The reconstruction of the Ikorodu- Shagamu road will serve as an alternative route to the Lagos-Shagamu Expressway during traffic congestion period an also relieve the ever busy Lagos-Shagamu axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.”

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