By Idris Bakare
Passengers plying through Lagos-Abeokuta express way are lamenting the Lagos state government delay in the construction of BRT lane linking Abule- Egba.
The multibillion Naira project has increased motorists and passengers’ hardship daily.
Whenever it rains in Lagos, residents are thrown into panic, as the already deplorable roads become almost impassable.
Some of the areas where construction of road and BRT lane cause inconvenience for commuters include Orile -Agege, Ile-Zik, Agbado -Okeodo Abeokuta Expressway, Amuwo-Odofin, among others.
Between Abule-Egba and Iyana Ipaja, the gridlock gets chaotic as vehicles from Sango, Ijaye and others heading toward Oshodi struggle to enter the narrow lanes.
Road Safety and LASTMA officials are not helping matters, as they do not do their work as they should, but rather look for motorists to extort and worsen the traffic situation.
Investigation by our correspondent shows that the N22.38 billion Lagos – Abeokuta express way was flagged up by federal government, on May 14, 2018, including the BRT road being constructed by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).
Some commuters, who spoke with Nigerian NewsDirect during the week expressed disappointment as the project is taking much time to be completed.
A commuter, who identified himself simply as Funso, lamented the delay in construction, expressing that gridlock often lasted for several hours, with the traffic stretching from Toll-gate to Oshodi on the ever-busy Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.
He said from Oshodi to Iyana Ipaja, the traffic congestion is very bad and had over time become a nightmare to both commuters and motorists who ply the road daily.
“Imagine how long it takes one to get to the office and back home every day with all the suffering,” he mourns.
Mrs. Bunmi Akinlade, a road user, complained about the loss of man hour on the road.
She said that “I have been on this spot for more than two hours and losing so much valuable time because of the work here.
“It would be more effective if the construction company can devise means to effectively control the traffic while they continue their work,” she said.
Another commuter, Thomas Blessing lamented that she and her entire family go through hell to and from school and work with no solution in sight.
“Expanding this road is a good idea but the suffering is becoming unbearable, even when we leave home early we still experience the go slow.
“The construction company and the Lagos State Government should take urgent steps to stop this suffering,” she said.
However, commuters have called on the Federal Government to mount pressure on the contractor handling the project to speed up work on the road to alleviate the suffering of the people.
Meanwhile, effort to identify the contracting company and the management handling the project proved abortive as workers interviewed refused to disclose the identity of the company.
Odu’a Investment partners Aerofield Homes on Ikeja luxury apartments
Aerofield Field Homes, Lagos has signed a pact with the Odu’a Investment Company Limited over construction of luxury apartments in Ikeja, GRA, Lagos State.
Speaking during the signing of Joint Venture Development Agreement held at Cocoa House, Ibadan, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Odu’a Investment, Mr Adewale Raji said that he was happy the company is doing business with Aerofield Homes, a property company that has been helping to provide Nigerians with decent homes.
Mr Raji said “I am particularly happy that Odu’a conglomerate is associating with your company, I have had conversations and interacted with Aerofield Homes, obviously I have no doubt in the company’s competency; we are ready to execute our project with you anytime, you have the professional expertise, so it will be awesome doing business with you and your team”.
“At Odu’a Investment, we appreciate relationship, especially the one that is helping us to achieve our business goals of impacting the people around us for good, so we are always open for business, and with this MoU we are signing with Aerofield Homes, we believe this is another chapter that will add great value to our service delivery and it will really mark beginning of great and exciting moments for us all”.
Speaking at the event, the CEO of Aerofield Homes, Mr Armstrong ‘Tope Akintunde lauded Odu’a Investment Company for being a pacesetter conglomerate and a thriving business enterprise despite the harsh realities of the economy.
Akintunde said “It is a thing of joy, like a fulfilled dream that Aerofield Homes could be privileged to partner with Odu’a Investment. By the grace of God we have all it takes to make this a worthwhile venture. Our goal which we have pursued so relentlessly is to cut down on housing deficit for Nigerians and this we shall keep doing because everyone in the country deserves a decent home.
“We shall surely treasure this moment and work assiduously to justify the confidence reposed in us by Odu’a Investment, this is definitely not a partnership that we shall regret but that will give birth to multiple reasons to continue to work in harmony”.
Speaking at the event, the Principal Consultant to Aerofield Homes, Mr. Adetomiwa Adetilewa said it was great honour to be privileged to share business relationship with the Odu’a Investment given their pedigree and achievements in business world.
Adetilewa said “At Aerofield Homes, we are all happy to do business with Odu’a Investment and we want to assure you that Aerofield Homes doesn’t joke with integrity and standards that are in compliance with world best practices. We deliver on time on our projects without sacrificing quality. We sincerely thank you for finding us suitable for this worthy partnership and I can assure you that we shall justify the confidence reposed in us”.
The two companies later signed the MoU compiled by Wemabod Ltd legal solicitor, Mrs. Adeloye Olukemi.
Dignitaries at the meeting were Mr. Abdulrahman Yinusa, Group Chief Financial Officer of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Yemi Ejidiran MD, Wemabod Ltd, Mrs. Abiola Ajayi, Company Secretary & Head of Legal, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Ade Ajayi, Commercial Manager, Mrs. Adenike Ajobo, Brand & Communication Manager and Mr. Mayowa Amoo – Project Manager, Wemabod Ltd.
Others from Aerofield Homes Limited were Architect Raheem Adisa, Barrister Jaiyeoba Adepeju and Barrister Phoebean Odjiko, Company Secretary.
FCT: We will restore Abuja Master Plan, demolish illegal structures
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mr Nyesom Wike says he will demolish all illegal buildings and structures in the FCT as part of efforts to restore the Abuja Master Plan.
Wike stated this at a news conference in Abuja on Monday to announce the short, medium, and long term plans to overhaul the FCT and reposition it among the best cities in the world.
As the new sheriff in town, he said, “It is not going to be business as usual. Those distorting Abuja Master Plan: if you build where you are not supposed to, the building will go down.
“If you build on a green area, sorry, it will go down. Those who were allocated land and refused to develop them, we will revoke such lands and re-allocate them to those who are ready to develop them.
“Those who don’t pay ground rent, we will not notify them to do so, but I will not be tired of signing revocation notices.
“Uncompleted buildings that have become a safe haven for criminals will be reclaimed by the government and put them to good use.”
The Minister added that the government would no longer tolerate the indiscriminate operation of markets and motor parks by the roadside.
He said that people selling goods and wares under the umbrella by roadside, illegal motor parks and bus stops would no longer be tolerated, adding that they constitute part of the security challenge in the FCT.
“If you have a brother, sister, or uncle involved in any of these, please tell him that the time is up. The goal is to sanitise Abuja and make it safe for everyone,” he said.
He also said that efforts would be made to strengthen waste management and restore all traffic lights to keep the city clean.
He added that motorcycle and tricycle operators would be banned from the city and put an end to open grazing within the capital city.
“We will consult with stakeholders, the natives, and herdsmen to address some of these problems, including open grazing.
“We will provide alternatives to reduce the suffering of the people, particularly those without private vehicles.
“We will bring back mass transit to improve access to public transportation, and therefore, the person in charge of transportation must keep his record clean,” he said.
He said that emphasis would be placed on infrastructural development, taking one project at a time to restore the city to its glory.
The Minister said that development would also be extended to the six Area Councils as part of strategies to decongest the city.
He also said that all revenue leakages would be blocked to be able to mobilise the needed resources for infrastructural development in the FCT.
On security, Wike said that he would work with all security agencies in the FCT and provide them with necessary tools and logistics to rid the city of all criminals.
According to him, FCT is supposed to be the safest city in the country, adding however, that the city is no longer safe.
“We will provide security agencies with necessary tools and logistics and after that, we will not want to hear any excuses. What we want to see is results.”
Wike also promised to consider the natives in political appointments with a view to carry everyone along.
He solicited the support of all stakeholders, including the media to restore the confidence of the people on President Bola Tinubu-led administration drive to give people hope.
Lagos trains building artisans
As part of strategic moves to bridge the skill gap in the housing sector, the Lagos State Government has commenced the training artisans and craftsmen in the state.
Disclosing this in a statement, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Housing, Kamar Olowoshago, noted that the state was facing unending population growth.
He said, “Roughly put the unending population growth at 3.63 per cent in 2023 from 3.44 per cent in 2020. This has made available decent homes to be inadequate. This particularly affects the low and medium-income earners.”
He noted that the skill acquisition programme which was tagged “Master Craftsman training Programme” commenced on August 19, 2023, was to enable residents mainly youths in the construction trades to update their skills and acquire other competencies that would make them more employable and improve their economic well-being.
The Permanent Secretary said the intensive training programme would be for six weeks.
He said, “It will be a weekend programme that will be centred on critical construction trades, such as electrical installation and maintenance works, painting and decorating, plumbing and pipe-fitting, carpentry and furniture making and masonry (block-laying and concreting).
“There will also be classes on connected areas such as customer relations, information and communication technology and health and safety. The training will be conducted by experts in the field, who will train and retrain participants based on current trends. Locations of the current training programme are at Ikotun in Alimosho local government and Ikorodu in Ikorodu Local Government.”
Olowoshago disclosed that each certified master craftsman with over 70 per cent attendance would receive certification from a notable professional institute, empowerment with modern tools of their trade, work gears and stipends by the state government.
He advised participants to prepare for comprehensive practical and theoretical sessions during the training, adding that the trainees would be fully insured during the training period in the unlikely incident of hazards or dangers during the practical sessions.
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