..Charges residents to protect canals, roads in their neighbourhoods
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Thursday inspected Lagos Metropolitan and Governance Development Projects (LMGDP) in Ijora- Badia and Agege, charging the people of the State to take charge of the canals and other essential infrastructure in their areas.
The Governor who took time to address the people at each of the points he inspected said taking charge of the canals by the people represents the biggest protection they could give to their properties and personal belongings.
Governor Fashola who spoke while addressing the people of Arigbanla in Orile -Agege Local Council Development Area said if the canals do not work, the various drains in front of individual homes will not achieve its aims of taking waters to the desired destination.
He urged the people to stop patronizing cart pushers who only end up carting refuse from their residences and delivering them into the drains, adding that for areas that have not benefitted from the service of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority(LAWMA), they should get in touch with the Ijora office of LAWMA so that they can be serviced.
On the complaints that many other canals are being channeled into the Arigbanla canal which may cause the canal not to be able to serve its purpose during the rains the Governor promised to liaise with the Commissioner for Works and the Permanent Secretary in the Office of Drainage Services on how best to tackle the issue.
Also speaking at the Ireti and Badia Primary School in Ijora-Badia, the Governor warned the youths against any form of violence adding that if any violence is recorded in any area in the state, the government will halt its development project there and call in law enforcement agents.
On complaints by some residents of the area that the tractors being used by the contractor has damaged some part of the new drains being constructed, the Governor appealed to them to exercise patience with the contractor adding that the construction work to transform the area and solve its flooding problem cannot but come with its peculiar challenges.
The Governor urged the people to treat anyone who dumps refuse in the canals as their enemies because such people only what to set off a chain of action that may eventually consume the people and their belongings.
In an interview with State House Correspondents after the inspection tour, the Governor said with his inspection of the LMDGP projects at Ijora- Badia and Agege, the social contract with the citizenry is getting stronger by the day.
“Our democracy is deepening here by the hour. Everybody has a role to play. If citizens pay their taxes, if they keep the peace, their government will deliver. I have said it that in the sun and in the rain, we will serve the people who contribute the taxes and who are or employers”.
“We also demand that people restrain from taking the laws into their hands and that they should also comply with our laws and keep the peace because that is the only way we can provide development”.
The Governor who also gave an insight into the various projects said what has been seen is an integration of so many things which has been made possible through a partnership between the State and the World Bank on the LMDGP project.
“We started today from Ijora- Badia to Sule, Fadaini streets and those areas where we saw drainage channels, some as wide as 2 by 4 metres big storm drainage. We saw new primary schools under construction in Ijora and Badia and places where roads have clearly never been situated before”.
“We are now at Arigbanla in Agege area where we came to check progress of work on the promise we made here during the unfortunate flood of last year when lives were lost and we saw that there was a constriction here, but we are seeing more progress here now and we will go round to check again all those canals that had problems where we promised to intervene”.
He asserted that from reports he is getting from the Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Contractors working for the state who have all worked very hard over the last 11 to 12 months, a lot of progress have been made and that they deserve all the accolades the people of Lagos continue to shower on them.
“We are driving through Agege now to see the roads and drainages intervention in Agege, places like Moricas road where the LMGDP in partnership between the World Bank and Lagos State Government have intervened to build roads. It is a work in progress, Lagos is getting on the road”, he emphasized.
Speaking earlier at the site of the Oko- Oba/ Arigbanla canal project, a community leader in the area, Elder Alagbe Emmanuel commended the State Government for coming to the aid of the people of Arigbanla by awarding a contract for the canal.
He said the people were very apprehensive that they may be relocated but have been reassured by the policy of the Governor that they can stay back and live safely in their areas.
He also commended the contractors for doing a good job adding that for now the people can afford to sleep with their two eyes closed, a possibility that was very remote before.
Residents spoken to in the various areas visited also commended the Governor for his exemplary leadership which has led to developments in areas hitherto regarded as forgotten.
The areas inspected by the Governor and his entourage visited include the Iganmu/Julius Berger Works Yard to inspect the drainage channel at Iganmu, Inspection of Owoseni Street and 16 other network of roads as well as Ireti Prototype Schools, Badia.
Others are Oguntade Street, Shoretire Street, Ajiboye Street, Arigbanla Street and Canal, Ipaja Road, Oyewole Street, Moricas Road, Abimbola Street, Salawu Street, Owo Street and Capital Road.
The Governor was taken round the various projects by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of Drainage Services, Engineer Muhydeen Akinsanya, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Acting Project Director of LMDGP, Engr Adewale Ashimi as well as some members of the State Executive Council who accompanied him on the inspection.