A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Setonji David has urged the Federal Government not to pay lip service to the reconstruction of Lagos-Badagry Expressway, decrying the work pace.
David, representing Badagry Constituency II at the Lagos State House of Assembly, made the appeal in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to him, though the project has been approved by the Federal Government, the snail pace at which the work is going will elongate the sufferings and the agonies of the residents of the area.
“We are going through hell on Lagos- Badagry Expressway. Nobody wants to ply the road again. The journey from Mile 2 to Badagry in the 80s and early 2000 was just 30 minutes maximum, but now we spend 5 hours.
“It seems the Federal Government is paying lip service to the plights of Nigerians in this area otherwise, the contractor would have been well mobilised for serious work.
“Our people are really suffering. Sometimes, I wonder whether Badagry has been abandoned in the state by the Federal Government. I left my home in Badagry at 5:00 a.m. and I could not get to Lagos until 10:a.m.
“I spent hours from Badagry to Lagos this morning in a journey that should have taken me ordinarily 30 minutes and at worst 40 minutes to get to Lagos.
“The road is in terrible shape, extremely bad as if the people of Badagry have done something wrong to belong to Nigeria,” David, the Chairman, House Committee on Home Affairs, said.
According to him, though the Federal Government had awarded contracts for some sections of the road, the snail pace at which the work was going would make the residents suffer for many years.
David said that the section from Okokomaiko to Agbara, given to the Federal Road Maintenance Agency to fix, was not making at any appreciable progress, “this is going at a very slow pace”.
“The way they (FERMA) are going, that project will not be completed in five to six years. That means our suffering continues,” David said.
He added that the section from Agbara to Seme border, also approved by the Federal Government might not be completed in many years to come.
According to him, as a representative of the people, my finding showed that the contractor was not well mobilised to commence serious job.
“I learnt that project was awarded for about N36 billion and the contractor was paid N1 billion for a year, that means in another 36 years, that project will not be completed.
“It is like the Federal Government has abandoned us in Badagry. Federal Government needs to come and do something urgently. We don’t know why Badagry should be neglected.
“The contractors should be paid and monitored to expedite action on the road. The pace of work must be increased because as we speak, it is extremely slow.
According to him, the corridor is vital to the nation’s economic development because it leads to other West African countries such as the Republic of Benin, Ghana, Togo and others.
The lawmaker decried the condition of the road, saying immediately after leaving Nigeria; motorists enjoy good roads in other neighbouring African countries.
He said that the road had totally failed and there was nothing to be maintained except carryout outright reconstruction.
David said: “We are suffering and the impression residents have is that they have been abandoned in Badagry.
“The economic activities have completely been eroded. Who will do business in that kind of environment? We call on the Federal Government to do something to alleviate the suffering of our people.
“No business can thrive in that kind of environment. Things that ordinarily cost N100 in Lagos is being sold at N200 in Badagry because of the bad road.”
NAN recalled that the road had been divided into three sections. The first phase from Eric Moore in Lagos to Okokomaiko (Channel zero to 20) is being handled by the Lagos State Government.
The second phase- Kilometre 20 to 32 (Okokomaiko- Agbara) is being undertaken by FERMA while the Federal Ministry of Works is to handle the largest chunk of the project from Agbara (kilometre 32) up to Seme Border.
The Federal Government through the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) on June 19 flagged-off repair and maintenance work on part of the Lagos-Badagry expressway.