On Saturday, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, ordered trailers to park indiscriminately on the Ogere
section of the Lagos-Ibadan highway to immediately vacate the area in order to give way to the ongoing construction work.
During a town hall meeting with stakeholders at Ogere in Ogun State on the
Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Fashola, who undertook an inspection of the road from Lagos, gave the order.
Fashola appealed to the trucks to leave the highway after listening to the submissions of traction
rulers, members of the three major tribes, civil society, state government officials, contractors and traffic regulatory agencies.
“My appeal to you (articulated vehicles) is for you to the leave the road today immediately,” he said
Fashola requested the newly formed Ogun State Government Task Force on Traffic Laws to implement the
Order, adding that parking on the highway was a breach of the traffic laws of the country.
He said trucking and trailer operations were enterprises and operators were supposed to provide their fleet
with parking spaces, adding that the construction of truck parks by the government was only to help.
He also frowned at road abuses by truck drivers on the
highway pouring diesel and petrol, causing rapid degeneration of the road.
He identified projects to include the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a major artery
linking the South-West to other areas, funded by the Presidential Intervention Funds.
He said that for interconnectivity and ease of doing business, the highway was necessary,
hence the need for cooperation and sacrifice by stakeholders to ensure rapid construction completion.
He assured Ogun Governor, Dapo Abiodun, that it would resolve the problem of burrow pits
causing flooding, while degenerating alternative routes would be completed along the road construction of Ikorodu-Sagamu.
Burrow pits are sites where laterites are
excavated for construction on roads or houses.
“The governor and people of Ogun, we hear you very loudly on Ikorodu-Sagamu road. The story is the same with Lagos-Ota Road,” Fashola said.
The minister said the contractors were back on site on the projects, adding that despite the
declining oil revenue reducing the nation’s earnings, the Buhari government was determined to complete all ongoing construction.
Fashola, however, acknowledged that the government owed
contractors and other projects on the Lagos-Ota route.
Julius Berger and RCC, contractors running sections one and two of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway project, turned to
slide presentations on how the building of high traffic volumes and new settlements on the road slowed down.
They said there were 400,000 vehicles a
day on the road and 3,000 per hour.
They also identified their initiatives of
corporate social responsibility for their host communities.
In his address, Gov. Abiodun thanked the Federal Government for the work’s
success, but demanded that some roads be handed over to the state government.
He also called on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway project contractors to follow the best solutions for traffic
management to mitigate hardship, while calling for more public knowledge to help them understand the project.
He identified the state government’s efforts to accelerate development, which included a tripartite
committee with the State Government of Lagos and the Ports Authority of Nigeria.
“I must emphasize that we are delighted that this road construction is taking place,” he said.
The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, thanked Fashola “for the tenacity of purpose to the construction of the road”.
Giving a brief history of previous slow highway development by previous governments, Adeyoye pledged
fast track construction cooperation between the Lagos State government and those of Ogun and Oyo.
She said the trailer park issue needed compliance
and could be solved by all stakeholders’ determination.
“All in all, we are having an infrastructure that will work, provided we take ownership,” she said.