The Lagos State Government on Monday approved the extension of the ongoing reconstruction of the International Airport Road to Ladipo International Market axis along Oshodi Apapa Expressway.

The Government also announced plans to construct a pedestrian bridge at Toyota Bus Stop in response to the yearnings of traders and residents of the area, with the contractor expected to begin work on the bridge next week.

State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who disclosed this during an extensive inspection of ongoing projects across the State, said the extension was to complement the Airport Road reconstruction in line with the regeneration of the entire Oshodi axis.

“There is no point doing the Airport Road if we don’t extend that contract to where I am standing here and so I want to do it from Oshodi to Guardian Newspapers axis; I want to rehabilitate the road and turn it to a modern road. The only way I can do it also is if you don’t do any trading on the road.

“I promise you I will also do a Pedestrian Bridge at Toyota Bus Stop. So, the contractor that is doing the Airport Road will commence work on the Pedestrian Bridge and this road next week if you allow me. That is why I have come here personally; I was here yesterday. I don’t want to inconvenience you but I have come to appeal to you; just be patience with us; we will bring growth and development to this place,” the Governor said.

Governor Ambode, who also inspected ongoing construction of roads around Ladipo International Auto Spare Parts Market, called on traders to leave the road to enable the contractor complete the projects.

Accompanied by key members of his cabinet, the Governor expressed concern that the presence of traders displaying their wares on the road was hampering the construction work and delaying the completion on schedule.

Addressing thousands of traders who came out to hear from him, he said he had come out personally to appeal to them to leave the road to enable work continue and that if they comply, the project would be delivered by May 2018.

“When I came here last year and I went through the Ladipo Market, I promised you I will do all the roads within the market and you will all cooperate with me. So, last year August, I fulfilled my promise; I awarded the contract of Akinwunmi Street, the Ladipo Street and then the other streets on the adjacent side.

“The contractors have gone to work; I have just inspected the project at Akinwunmi Street and the drainage has been completed. You were the ones that told me I should come and do the roads; I have asked the contractors and they are promising me that Akinwunmi Street will be delivered by May but I have an issue and that is why I have called the Vice President of your association to stand by my side here.

“Now, the only reason why that contract will not be completed on schedule is that some of you are trading on the roads that we want to repair and you were the ones that said we should come and repair the roads and so you need to talk to yourselves; I don’t want any trading on that road until we finish it. This is February, in another three months, we will finish it. So, the leaders in this market, please talk to your people, they should vacate the roads; let us bring development to your market.

“I have come to appeal to you. If you don’t do it by way of appeal, you know I also have the power to close the market but I don’t want to do it and so let there be peace and when there is peace, there is progress and there is development,” he said.

Responding on behalf of the traders, Vice President of the market, Mr. Jude Nwankwo commended Governor Ambode for delivering on his promise to transform the axis, assuring that they would cooperate with the government and vacate the roads to enable the contractor complete the project on schedule.

“We would cooperate with you, we do not have any reason not to cooperate with you because all that you have promised to do, you have done it. Moreso, we are all beneficiaries of all the good work you are doing in Lagos,” Nwankwo said.

Governor Ambode also inspected the ongoing construction of the Oshodi Transport Interchange where he was briefed on the level of work done so far by the contractor and Managing Director, Planet Projects, Mr. Biodun Otunola.
Meanwhile, the State Government has paid N6.6 million to the 12 families who were displaced due to the ongoing redevelopment project of Adeniji Adele Phase 1 Housing Estate on the Lagos Island as rent for the Year 2017/2018.

Speaking at the payment ceremony, Mr. Lateef Sholebo, General Manager of Lagos Urban Renewal Agency, LASURA, said the 12 families who received the payment were among the 30 families living in the Estate before the demolition for redevelopment.

He said the Lagos State Government had first paid an initial N18m as rent for the 12 families in 2014, adding that the recent payment of N6.6m is for the Year 2017/18 with each family collecting N550,000 as against N500,00 previously collected due to increase in rent.

According to him, “The government was in negotiation with the families before the buildings were demolished. The families were given two options of resettlement. Either they move to the Agency’s Transit Camp within Iba Housing Estate or get paid to secure a convenient accommodation in a location of their choice pending the completion of the project”.

“18 families opted for the choice of resettlement at LASURA’s Transit Camp while the remaining 12 families chose to receive N500,000 to rent an apartment of their choice in a preferred location”, he added.

Sholebo maintained that the State government had to demolish the buildings in order to prevent imminent collapse and also upgrade the Estate in line with the megacity status of Lagos state.

The Acting Chairman of Adeniji Adele Housing Estate Residents’ Association, Elder Semi Adeotan who spoke on behalf of the families and entire residents thanked Lagos State Government for the payment and proactive measures taken to prevent the loss of lives.

He also inspected the ongoing construction of roads, walkways, laybys and solar powered street lights in Agboyi Ketu Local Government area expected to be completed within two weeks.

While responding to an appeal by some of the residents for the construction of a market in the area, the Governor promised to collaborate with the Local Government to see the possibility of acceding to the request.

Besides, the Governor and his team also inspected the ongoing construction of the Eko Theatre in Oregun Ikeja, one of the five theatres currently under construction across the State, assuring that the adjoining land space would be converted to a recreation centre for children and a car park.

By Marc Philips