Osi Ota-Ikola-Navy road: Residents fault government’s claim over reduced travel time
Contrary to claims by the Ogun State government that the ongoing rehabilitation of two Trunk B roads in Sango-Ota, in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Council has led to a reduction in travel time between Sango-Ota in the state and neigbouring Lagos State, residents and commuters plying these areas are having a torrid time.It would be recalled that a few weeks ago, the administration, through the State Public Works Agency (OPWA) commenced the rehabilitation of Osi Ota-Ikola-Navy and Raypower access roads, and Atan-Ota –Agbara Road, which have been impassable for sometime now.
The government had maintained that the fixing the roads would hasten movement of road users heading to Lagos, without them meandering through the Agege Motor Road, in addition to cutting down transportation cost. But The Guardian investigation reveals that due to the slow pace of the work, residents and commuters are experiencing hard times, especially due to the incessant downpour, which has made the roads impassable.
A visit to the area showed that construction work around Odo Eran Osi, Akeja and beyond was still under 35 percent completion. It was also noticed that fixing the drainage at flood-ravaged points has led to a situation, where sharp sands evacuated from the drainage have taken over large parts of the roads, making free flow of vehicular movement a major challenge.
During the visit, it was further observed that only workers at Akeja construction site were actually working. In the other areas, equipment were only parked, but work was not ongoing.According to a resident of the area, Mr. Alamu Isiaka, the rehabilitation work is “gradually turning into a serious challenge for us. The pace of work here is very slow, and driving out of our houses has become a dilemma.
Since our vehicles are continually breaking down as a result of the bad state of the road, we are resorting to the use of commercial motorcycles. Even though the rehabilitation work is in our own interest, the claim that it has reduced travel time between here and Lagos is not true for now, maybe until the constriction work is completed.”
A motorcyclist, Lekan Idris, who also decried the method adopted by the workers, accused them of taking bribes saying, “I can tell you that they have been doing a lot of questionable things here; they have been taking bribes from residents, who do not want part of their building to be demolished in the rehabilitation process. Do you expect them to carryout a superb job with that sort of practice?
“The commercial vehicles that were plying Akeja to Killington Bus Stop are no more operating on that route because the road has become impassable; people are now resorting to the use of commercial motorcycles, which is more expensive. The worst part of this is that we don’t know when this job will be completed because the pace of work has been very slow after the roads have been messed up, and we are in a serious dilemma,” he said.
Meanwhile, the residents are also appealing to the government to fix other major roads linking Lagos to Ota such as Ayobo-Lafenwa Road, Lafenwa-Itele Road, Obasanjo-Ijagba road and Agbara-Atan Road among others.A community leader, Abiodun Akinleye said the roads were very critical to the survival of businesses in parts of the two states. He added that many businesses in the Ota area were currently migrating to other parts of the state as the area was in dire need of massive infrastructure development.
The Obasanjo-Ijagba Road Maintenance Committee in a letter to the governor, appealed for swift intervention to rescue over 7, 000 industries in Ota Industrial Estate, and those at the Agbara Industrial hub.The letter dated July 15, 2019, and signed by 15 representatives of different communities said, “the road is crucial to reducing the life-threatening traffic gridlock on the toll-gate axis of Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, as about 60 per cent of road users would explore the alternative route.“Obasanjo Ijagba Road is a link between Idiroko Expressway and Lafenwa-Itele Road, which is a direct link to Ayobo, Ipaja, Igando, Egbeda, Ikotun, Isheri, Ojo in Lagos State.
“The road is expected to cater for over 80 communities in that location such as Iyesi, Dada-Asaila, Ijagba, Elejigbo, Eledi, At an, Onibuku, Iju, Winners Chapel, Ogun State Housing Estate, and the Industrial Estate, Ojuore, Ilogbo, among others.”It added that the road would enhance the fortunes of the state and improve its internally generated revenue, as more industries would spring up within the environment and trigger economic growth.
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