Residents of Ikorodu area of Lagos State have lamented the slow pace of work on the Ikorodu-Sagamu dual carriage way.
The residents, who said they were relieved with the gradual stoppage of the rainy season, stated that the experience was hellish during the rainy period. They added that the bad portions of the road were responsible for the continuous banditry in the area.
A resident, Simon Ehiwuogu, told our correspondent that the residents had battled with increased transport fares and boycott of the area by commercial drivers.
He added that the Federal Government had five months ago mobilised Arab Contractors to reconstruct the road into a dual carriageway of multiple lanes from Ikorodu, Lagos State to Sagamu, Ogun State.
He noted that the slow pace of work on the road was worrisome.
Ehiwuogu also complained about the width of the road, stating that when completed, it would barely accommodate two vehicles on each side, adding that it could become life threatening because of the busy nature of the road.
He stated that the Federal Government might have narrowed the width of the road in order to prevent the destruction of buildings along its right of way and minimise the payment of compensation.
According to him, the payment of compensation is a one-time affair, which cannot be compared to lives that may be lost owing to the narrowness of the road.
Ehiwuogu stated, “The Federal Government started working on the road about five months ago. The pace of work is slow; they have to quicken the pace of the job to avoid another rainy season. Motorists and passers-by have been going through horrible experiences on the road, not to talk of the banditry taking place at the bad portions of the road.
“What I don’t like about the road is the size. The Federal Government, I suspect, reduced the width of the road in order to avoid paying much compensation to those whose buildings, fences, and/or economy trees may be destroyed. I don’t see this as helping the people; when completed, I am not sure each of the two carriageways will be able to contain two trucks. You know what that means.”
A motorcyclist, Babatunde Bakare, said modern roads should have dedicated lanes for pedestrians.
He stated that the design of the Ikorodu-Sagamu road ought to take into consideration the volume of vehicular traffic on it as well as pedestrians, as a long stretch of the road passes through areas where people live.
Some workers of Arab Contractors, who spoke on condition of anonymity as they said they were not authorised to speak on the matter, said work on the road had started in earnest.
They said three groups were working on different segments of the road, adding that by next month, the groups would be increased to five in order to ensure the completion of the project in the first quarter of 2019 as initially scheduled.
“You can see that we are working seriously on this road. The work is at an advanced stage. We are not playing. The road is divided into three. Before December 2018, five groups will be on ground to ensure the early delivery of the road by the first quarter of next year,” one of the construction workers said.
When contacted to respond to the residents’ complaints, the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Hakeem Bello, referred our correspondent to the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti, whom he noted was in a better position to speak on the subject.
However, several calls made to Kuti were not answered, while a text message sent to his mobile telephone line had not been responded to as of press time.