Trouble is brewing between Lagos State and the Federal Minister of Power, Works and Housing and Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola as Governor Akinwunmi Ambode took time yesterday to blame the Ministry of Works for frustrating his government’s plan to rebuild the Oshodi – Murtala Muhammed Airport Road.
The Lagos first citizen also lashed out at the Federal ministry for its failure to hand over the Presidential Lodge in Marina, Lagos, to the state government despite approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, six months ago.
Ambode who is upbeat over the pace of infrastructural development his administration has embarked upon as part of preparations to mark the 50th anniversary celebrations of the state, also accused the Federal Government of failing to refund N50b spent by the state government on the rehabilitation of Federal roads in the state.
Ambode made these statements yesterday shortly after he conducted an inspection of some on going projects in the state. These are the Abule-Egba fly-over bridge, the reconstructed Berger Roads in Ojodu and the Aboru-Abesan Link Road.
On the Presidential Lodge, Ambode said: “As we speak, we are yet to gain entrance into that place. It’s frustrating our program.
So, I want to use this medium to appeal and say that the approval of Mr. President should be rightly honored and the agencies concerned, that is the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Security Services, should honor that promise by Mr. President.”
Describing the state of that Airport Road as a national embarrassment, Ambode said, “Lagos State is ready to take over and reconstruct the road, if given approval by the Federal Government and hit the ground running in two weeks.
“As such, we ensured that we got the House of Assembly to approve a budget to reconstruct the road into a 10-lane road, with interchange and flyover to drop you at the Local Airport. We have the money to do it and we shall accomplish it.
“It is no news that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing owes Lagos N51 billion. All we are saying is allow us to reconstruct this road, because, we have the resources and capacity to do so.
“Then, make the deductions of what we might have spent from the lump you owe us. I think this is only logical,” he said.
During an inspection of the Abule-Egba fly over, the contractor handling the project, Mr Mark Robertson of Craneburg Construction Company, assured the governor that the work would be completed by the end of April.
On the amount of work done on the inspected projects Ambode expressed satisfaction, stating that they were 85 per cent completed.
The Ojodu Berger regeneration project, the Abule Egba Flyover Project and the Aboru Abesan Link Road are to be inaugurated as part of the state’s golden Jubilee celebrations.
He said compensation had been paid to owners of properties that had to give way for the Oshodi and Ojodu Berger regeneration projects, while property owners at Abule Egba would be paid within the next four weeks. (Photo NAN)