Warns Car Dealers
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) at the weekend handed over both the Kodesoh and Simbiat Abiola Roads in Ikeja, affirming that he will continue to serve the people till the last day of his tenure.
The Governor who spoke at the event said he would ensure that all the roads that are under construction are completed. He recalled that in the last two years, he committed to 200 inner city roads from Shomolu to Epe, to Alimosho and Ikorodu which have almost been completed, adding that government recently handed over 16 roads in Mushin, one in Badagry and another two in Ikeja today.
He added that the work in Ikeja is certainly not finished because currently government’s presence is being felt on Joel Ogunnaike Crescent, just like it is being felt on Isaac John and a couple of other streets in Ikeja Local Government Area as well as in Agege and others.
Fashola also gave a commitment that in addition to the 200 roads committed to in the last two years, the State has also awarded contracts for another 25 in the last month of the year which would be completed.
“Roads should help us get to our business places quickly, they should help us get to work quickly, they should help get our children to school quickly and where they work, the cost of transportation should really come down because travelling should be a pleasant experience.
“But what we must talk about is what do we use our roads for? As long as we continue to trade on this road, it would defeat the purpose that we built them for. As long as we turn our highways into a shopping mall where everybody buys in traffic, all of us would become poor in the fullness of time.
“So those who want to do business must do it in the in the appropriate place in the shops, supermarkets and malls. The highway is not a trading place and you don’t need any government to start arresting you or Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) coming to pursue you because all of us pay for it at the end of the day. Those who are trading and those who are not trading will spend long hours in traffic”, he reiterated.
The governor described as unacceptable activities of car dealers on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way who have turned the pedestrian walk into their showroom, using the opportunity to appeal to them to remove the vehicles and apply for land to display their cars. “If we want to be great people we can’t turn the setbacks of our highway into car shops”, he admonished.
Pointing across the road to the dedicated shopping arena for computer products, the Governor underscored the need to trade in proper places.
“So whether you are selling computer or electronic whatever, this is the Megacity here, you can go inside the market and go and trade but you can’t trade here (the sidewalk). This sidewalk is the pedestrian walk for your children, when they are going to school and when they are coming back. If you take it over and trade on it, you will push your children onto the road”.
“So when these accidents happen, we are the cause, so it is the choices that we make. This is the pedestrian walk that enables us separate motorists from pedestrians. And indeed not everybody will afford to buy a car but most of you who work at least pay your taxes so it is the taxes of those who don’t have cars, the taxes of those who own and the taxes of those who own the best cars that has built this road and therefore those who drive should respect the right of pedestrians who also contributed to this road”.
Fashola said if the road is used appropriately, it should last for up to 30 years and urged the people to take ownership of it, adding that there irrespective of what the government will build, if the people do not use them in the right way, they will not get the full benefit of it.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat said the handing over demonstrates the commitment of the present administration to continue renewing the infrastructure of the State.
He explained that both roads are very strategic to connect Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way with Awolowo Road just as Kodesoh Road can also be used to connect Oba Akran while allowing the distribution of traffic.
Dr Hamzat appealed to the people not to turn the pedestrian walkways into a market because it is a facility that separate pedestrians from traffic so that people can walk on the walkways while traffic moves on the road.
The Governor later cut the tape to unveil the Kodesoh Raod which is also fitted with street lights, service ducts, walkways and lane markings before doing the same at Simbiat Abiola Way.
Prominent among those who witnessed the event were members of the State Executive Council including the Special Adviser for Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu, Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba, the Olu of Ikeja, Oba Raufu Matemi, Amore 1, Chairman of Ikeja Local Government, Mr Wale Odunlami, former Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Kemi Nelson, the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Funsho Ologunde and several other leaders from the Ikeja community and its environs.