The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has called on the Nigerian Senate, to declare a state of emergency on Federal roads within the state.
Prince Dapo Abiodun made the call when he received the Senate Committee on Works in his office.
Abiodun noted that it was pertinent that a state of emergency be declared on federal roads in the state because of their terribly poor state.
He contended all federal roads in the state are impeding economic activities in the corridor that passes through the state, which is the Nation’s Gateway State.
“I want to call on you to help us declare an emergency on the state of our Federal roads. It is as if, they are non-existent. We looked at these roads and we said it is important for people to be able to move between the states and the sub-region that share borders with us. We are appealing because it’s the only way we can continue to promote the economic development of our state, when we economically develop our state.
“We are also developing the country and the multiplier effect can be imagined. Whatever it is that we do by bringing industries to Ogun State, the taxes are going to the federal purse; whatever it is that we do directly or indirectly, the Federal Government is benefitting. So, it is important for us to look out for ways and means to see how we can ensure that people can move with relative ease,” he said.
The governor, however, said that the population explosion being experienced in the country has made the six-lane road pattern on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, for instance, outdated.
Abiodun added that it is important for the federal government to look out for alternative roads like the Sagamu to Ikorodu road and Lagos-Ota, Abeokuta road.
Such alternative roads, he emphasised, would have served as alternatives for motorists if the roads had been attended to.
Abiodun informed the committee of efforts being put in place by his administration and its Lagos State counterpart at ensuring that the two roads (Sagamu-Ogijo-Ikorodu and Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta) receive immediate attention.
He told the committee that they had written to the federal government to release the roads to them for immediate rehabilitation.
“Myself and my colleague in Lagos State wrote to the federal government and requested that these two roads be transfered to us because they are commercial roads. We plan to privatize them and we will not revert to the federal government for refunding,” he said.
In his response, the Chairman, Senate Committee for Works, Senator Adamu Aliero, disclosed that they were in the state to inspect all federal projects, particularly road projects.
According to him, their on-the-spot assessment confirmed that immediate attention would be needed to give the people some relief.
Aliero commended the state government and its Lagos State counterpart for deeming it fit to seek permission to rehabilitate the Sagamu to Ikorodu and Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta roads, despite the fact they are federal roads.
He promised that the initiative is one that the Senate would definitely encourage.
Aliero said they had inspected the Ikorodu-Sagamu road, which he said “is in a very serious state of dilapidation and it requires urgent attention”.
He surmised that the federal government would do well to release the roads to Ogun and Lagos states to fix.
“We will encourage and give all the support required. In fact, we can even amend the laws if there’s any legislative intervention that it requires. We don’t see any reason why roads that are in bad shape should not be done by the states”, he concurred.