Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has appealed to the Federal Government to accord all federal roads in Ogun State a special status so as to be able to mitigate challenges often encountered by motorists in the state.
With the particular mentioning of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressway and Sango-Idiroko highway, Abiodun said his administration is willing to reconstruct the roads provided the federal government will honour his requests to adopt the roads for rehabilitation.
The governor made the appeal on Wednesday while on a campaign tour of three council areas for the July 24 local government elections in the state.
Addressing the residents and APC faithful in Ado-Odo/Ota, Ifo and Ewekoro Local Government Areas, the governor appealed to the Federal Government to quickly come to rescue the suffering masses in the state by rehabilitating the dilapidated roads.
Abiodun also had an on-the-spot assessment of the Joju bypass on the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressway as well as the Sango-Idiroko
highway, while passionately apologising to the residents for the deplorable states of the roads in the area.
He, therefore, pleaded with the residents to exercise more patience pending when his administration will find a permanent solution to the situation and alleviate their sufferings.
The governor revealed that he had made several efforts at speaking with some agencies of the Federal Government over possible taking over of the roads for reconstruction on which he said the federal government has not given the go-ahead.
Abiodun explained that inasmuch as he is not competing with the Federal Government over road infrastructure, he would work towards bringing the Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola to come and see the deplorable state of the roads for himself so that he can further pity the state.
He disclosed that he and his counterpart in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwoolu had at different times, engaged the Federal Government on the need to transfer the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway to them as part of the move to ensure that people do not suffer on the roads.
“The state of these roads is pitiful, Governor Sanwo-Olu and I have engaged the federal government at different times, to transfer the road to us, we are not by any means not appreciative of the paucity of funds at the situation the federal government finds itself, but our people are suffering and as a state government, we can only do so much, we have intervened on several roads,” he said.
“I have asked the federal government to declare a special status for this state because we have more federal roads than any other state and we are suffering, not just from the environmental impact that the roads are causing us. Our people are suffering and I am in pain”.
“I am going to use this medium to call on the Minister of Works to come and partner with me by first undertaking a tour of federal roads in the State, I am hoping that the Minister of Works will agree to come on a tour with me, so we can look at these roads and get a first-hand appreciation of the deplorable state of the road infrastructure,” he said.
Emphasizing that Ado-Odo-Ota Local Government was one of the largest and the economic base of the state and Nigeria, Abiodun added that the state of federal roads was too embarrassing.
“This is the number one industrial local government in this country. it is contributing to the economy of not only Ogun State but the entire country because the biggest Industrial hub in Nigeria is right here in this very local government. It also has a very large percentage of federal roads, that is why we are called the Gateway State.
“This is Sango-Gangan road which starts from somewhere under the bridge to the roundabout. This is another example of the deplorable state of federal roads in Ado-Odo-Ota local government,” he said.
The Governor while disclosing that he has asked the Commissioner for Works to immediately intervene on the portion of the bad roads in the local government, called on the Minister of Works to partner with his administration by first agreeing on a tour of the bad federal roads in the state.
“I have directed the Commissioner for Works to come and intervene here immediately because this is completely unacceptable, we don’t have Federal Nigerians, everybody is a citizen of a particular state, so they don’t care whether a road is a Federal or State road, so, we are going to take responsibility, this portion, we are going to rehabilitate it, we are going to go to the Abeokuta-Sango road as well, just before the bridge, we are going to repair that as well, because the rains are going to get more and it is going to get more and more inconvenient for our innocent indigenes.
Abiodun further explained that as part of efforts to ameliorate the suffering of the people, the State government was reconstructing the Joju road to act as a bye-pass to the Sang-Ota- Idi-Iroko road.