Bad roads are increasingly becoming part of Lagos State that its notoriety has instigated a session on the causes of road decay in the State House of Assembly. The state lawmakers were on Monday, deliberating on many issues that they pointed as being responsible for bad conditions of the roads.
The Lagos State House Assembly fingered, among other things, Dangote trucks as major instrument of road damage in the state.
The House therefore, in a motion moved by Hon. Abiodun Tobun, resolved to call on Dangote Group to see road rehabilitation as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, and support the state in reconstruction of failed roads since the company’s trucks have been hugely responsible for the spoils.
Contractors are also fingered by the House as many of their actions were noted to contribute immensely to the decay the state’s roads are currently in.
The Nation reported that the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu was called upon by the House to ensure that contractors are not paid contractual emoluments when their qualification is not ascertained, and the State Treasury Office (STO) should live up to its responsibility in this regard.
The Special Adviser on works and infrastructure was urged to ensure that road projects in the state are executed with the best practices through quality supervision. And that includes making sure that right of way is given to the contractors before the commencement of construction works.
The need for good roads in Lagos State has been a topic of discussion year after year; a fact Tobun, who is the chairman, House Committee on Works and Infrastructure acknowledged and added that there is a need for the State to ensure there is quality network of roads.
Tobun noted that there is little to justify the huge amount the State is raking in revenues when it comes to roads. He said that most of the construction works are not properly handled and some are abandoned even though the funds have been paid fully for the projects.
“The House is further concerned that after most of the roads are repaired, heavy duty vehicles ply the road without regard for the damage done to the roads.
“We should urge Governor Babajide sanwo-Olu to ensure that contractors are not paid mobilization fee unless they are ready for the work.
“The Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure should also ensure that only contractors with requisite experience are given the job to do,” he said.
He also noted that the roads have become death traps to motorists, and people are getting killed at an alarming rate on the daily, citing the entourage of the Oba of Epe that was fatally hit by an articulated vehicle on Sunday, resulting in the death of many.
The Speaker of the House upheld the motion, urging those in charge of road construction in the State to up their game, by most of all, making sure that contractors do their jobs effectively.
Another House member who added his voice to the matter is Hon. Bisi Yusuf, representing Alimosho Constituency 1. He said the State is spending more for less quality roads, and there should be value for money spent on road construction in the state. He used Kudirat Abiola way, Oregun, Ikeja as an example. The road he said has lasted for 14 years since it was commissioned and it is still in good condition.
Expressing his view on the matter, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, representing Shomolu constituency 1 repeated what Tobun said that many contractors bolt after collecting mobilization fees. He added that the State Government is losing a lot of money due to insurance bond, and that every stage of the project, the APG must be alive and it should not be for mobilization fee alone but other payment in the life of the project.
However, as glaring as the blames seem, asking Dangote Group to take on the construction of Lagos State roads because of its trucks that have been seen as contributors to road damages has been described by many as mischievous. The argument is based on the fact that Dangote Group, like many other companies in Lagos are paying taxes to enable the Government to, among other things, rehabilitates the roads.
It is believed that the factors mentioned by the members of the State House of Assembly are mainly of the State Government’s misdoings, situations that is believed, if corrected will put an end to, not only bad roads, but so many other infrastructural lapses of the State.