Motorists plying Ikorodu-Shagamu road, who have been having difficult time moving on the dilapidated road, will still have to endure another one year or more due to the paucity of funds by the Federal Government, and this is official.
Following series of protests and complaints to Oriwu Sun by road users and residents over the hardships being faced on the road, which was flagged off for reconstruction by the Minister of Works and former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, three years ago, our reporter contacted the Director of Federal Highway, Southwest, Nigeria, Engr. Adedamola Kuti who, in a telephone interview, said that the reason for the delay of the construction works on the Ikorodu-Shagamu road was because of lack of fund, stating that the Federal Government has a lot of road it’s currently working on but presently lacks the required funds to complete.
According to Engineer Adedamola Kuti, the Ikorodu-Sagamu road is among the many critical roads on the Federal Government list but there have been lean budget to fund all the roads at the same time. He explained that the 2020 budget have been exhausted and there are more projects ongoing. “Though, we are presently seeking alternative means of raising fund to complete the Ikorodu-Sagamu road construction, but we can’t tell how soon we will access the fund,” he narrated over the phone.
The Director added that the Ministry of Works, Housing and Power has submitted a proposal for the inclusion of the funds to complete the road in the 2021 budget and it has been presented before the Senate. However, the 2021 budget may take a while before the Senate approves it and they are not sure how much they will approve for the road. In his words, “We are hoping to raise the fund outside the budget because we don’t know how long the budget will take to be approved. Many stakeholders in Ikorodu have been asking us questions over the state of the Ikorodu-Sagamu road and we understand how critical the road is. Some Obas have queried us and notable men like Olorunfunmi Bashorun have asked what is happening. We are pleading for your understanding and hoping to raise funds to complete the road soon.”
Engineer Adedamola Kuti, who spoke with Monzor on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Works, Housing and Power, clarified that there are many critical roads in Ikorodu, which they have mapped for reconstruction. The plan was to start work from different angles and link the entire network of roads, noting that many of the critical roads they started have gulped the fund allocated to the projects and yet, they are far from being completed. “We understand the people of Ikorodu are worried about the state of the Ikorodu-Sagamu road and we are greatly challenged. We are taking note of the critical road and like I said earlier, the critical roads are numerous and the resources available at our disposal is not enough. We plan on harnessing all the critical roads as soon as we fix the adjoining roads bit by bit. But in the face of dwindling funds and resources, there is only little we can do right now. Hopefully, we will find alternative ways of raising some funds to fix the roads,” he pleaded.
Before he ended the call, Chief Monzor Olowosago also reminded the Director of Works, South-West Zone, to do something fast about the deplorable road along Sabo-Imota road, which has remained another nightmare to the people of Ikorodu living in that axis. The Publisher suggested that while the Ministry is waiting for fund, they could fill the potholes along the Sabo-Imota road so that motorists and passengers will have some form of relief on the road. The Director promised to look into that as soon as possible.
The Ikorodu-Shagamu road have remained uncompleted for the past few years. This major road, which connects Ikorodu and Ogun State through the Ikorodu north-west axis, has been a major concern for residents and travelers across the States. Some points of the road had become death traps as vehicles often lose control and crash. The steep valley right before First Gate at the Lagos State Polytechnic had been a spot of accident crashes, where many lives have been lost. Though, the spot was fixed by the Lagos State Government, the entire road remain in bad shape.
When the Federal Government decided to reconstruct the Ikorodu-Sagamu road, the Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola assured the people that construction work will last for only three years for the work to be completed. However, since the contractor commenced work on the road, the work has rather been at a snail speed as it has taken forever to be completed. This delayed work is causing pain to residents and travelers as they spend several hours in traffic while some channels opened for drainage are causing floods to residents’ properties. The excessive dust and potholes remain other sources of pain to users of the delayed uncompleted Ikorodu-Sagamu road. Motorists and passengers are sadly shaken as vehicles journey on that axis.
While some parts of the roads were tarred with high quality concrete, many portion of the road still remain in terrible state. Motorists now have few minutes of driving on smooth highway and running into terrible bad portions, intermittently. The state of the road is a mixed blessing to motorists and passengers as they ride on smooth and rough surfaces at different intervals just within short distance.
The state of the Ikorodu-Sagamu road has become hot topic of discussion among people of Ikorodu and other concerned folks. There have been many stories regarding why the construction of the road was halted. Rumour had it that the recent halt of the construction was due to the Covid-19 health emergency, but proper investigations have shown that the cause of abandoning work by the construction firm had nothing to do with Covid-19 pandemic. Some sources, who spoke with the Chief Contractor, said the road construction was halted due to lack of payment by the government.