Commissioner For Works And Infrastructure, Femi Hamzat, Speaks On Lagos Road Projects
On the slow pace of some road construction in Lagos, Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Femi Hamzat speaks on the on-going projects in Lagos State and more.
As a black man, we’ve the problem of sustainability and we in Lagos have been able to sustain development and that’s affected the growth you witness in Lagos. We have been working on 237 roads work in Lagos given the resources we have and we try as much as possible to distribute road construction equally among the local governments. I think we need to break our attitude of sustainability and sustain governmental policies and legacy; hopefully we would get to where we ought to be.
Talking about Wempco Road, Ogba;
Wempco road didn’t just start and it not going at a slow pace. What first started was the construction of drainage is about 3 meters deep and it is because of the heavy flow of water that flows in that area. The road construction is just on going and it is important that we get the driange right and not just the road. Also remember there is a gas pipe on the road and we cannot relocarte the gas pipe by ourselves, the NNPC must be there. So all these contributes to the pace of project.
As regards the college road, I think that road is very fast, you why, because the fence to my father’s house was first moved and people couldn’t complain. The government cannot just come and move your fence, we need to discuss. We had 7 stakeholders meeting and that God no one went to court so we were able to begin work early. At Ago-palace, we were in court and the work was delayed for 4 months. And people must also understand that we are not building on a virgin land, we are building in a built up area, for example, we cannot move PHCN poles without them, and otherwise the whole area will be in darkness. So work cannot go at an extremely fast pace. It is establishing right of road, where we look at how roads can be expanded without affecting properties too much that delay. Once you get that right and the unity of the people, the road is constructed as far as I am concerned.
If we must move a church, I have to go to the church and worship then plead to move the church. Same as mosque. In fact, this happened in Agege because the mosque was in the middile of the road and we had to pray with them first before we explained why we have to move the road, it was so emotional because they said they have been praying in the mosque for 80 years. These are some of the challenges we face when we set out to construct roads.
Talking about Street lights In Lagos State.
You cannot light the state when you don’t have power, it is the truth and we must know that. so you have to define your need as a state as regards power generation, a state cannot do more that 25 mega watts and with the energy need of lagos standing at 5000 mega watz, we have to improvise. We power those street lights with diesel and it cost about 800 million a month. Even when we have electricity supply, you will find out that the street lights still runs on disel for most of the time. In some area, we have some companies that power the street light, but the main ones like the ikorodu road, we take it upon ourselve. I think the real issue is why isn’t the phcn or discos as it called now not working perfectly? And as a matter of fact, the Discos cannot fuction well as the national grid has not been sold, so if they generate energy, how do they transmit it and this is the real issue.
Talking on Meran- Command- Ipaja road;
A lot of people have accused this government of been elitist which is myth. For example, the shortest road in Alimosho is longer than anywhere in V.I. Ekoro is like 11km and when we constructed Lasu-Iba road in a Alimosho, we had to do a road in another local government. We have to manage our resources and spread development in all part of the state. Even if we have all resources, we cannot build all the roads at once because we don’t have the capacity, and we must supervise the work. Ebven Julius berger, we supervise their work. The first asphalt they did on the lekki bridge, we told them to scrap it because it wasn’t good. The contractors that we brought into niogeria are now bulding all over the country. JWD recently told us they have a 7billion project in jigawa and so, they can’t work for us. So the reality is we don’t have the capacity and resources, but we ensure that the road we construct are good and quality and will last long.