Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on federal roads in the country.
He made the call when members of the Senate Committee on Works led by its Chairman, Sen. Adamu Aliero, paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday in Abeokuta.
The governor said that the call became imperative as some of the roads; especially those in the South-West region were very deplorable.
“The township, rural and connecting roads are very deplorable. I want to call on you to declare a state of emergency on the federal roads because it’s as if our roads are nonexistent,’’ he said.
He said that as a result of the state of the roads, his administration was making efforts towards finding ways and means to ensure that people moved about easily.
“This effort we are doing is to ensure there is no loss of productive time and loss of lives.
“The Lagos-Ibadan expressway is being reconstructed; it is going to be a six-lane road. The population explosion on that corridor has far exceeded in that dimension. That road which is the busiest in Nigeria should at least be a 10-lane road at the minimum.
“By virtue of our location, we have federal roads including the Lagos-Ibadan expressway which traverses through Ogun, the busiest highway in the country, Sagamu-Ikorodu and the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road.
“We have the problem whereby our roads see more and more unusual traffic that they were built for. We have a problem,’’ he said.
He described traveling on the Sagamu-Ikorodu highway as a harrowing experience.
“When I was informed you were coming on that highway, I shook my head knowing the harrowing experience.
“This is because this is the state of this particular highway that was the main link between the north and the south in the past before the Lagos-Ibadan express was built.
“It continues to remain the alternative road for people going to Ibadan from Lagos, it would have been that which provided relief for the amount of vehicles travelling on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway,’’ he said. He noted that the vision of his administration was to provide focused and qualitative governance while creating an enabling environment for public-private partnership.
Abiodun further said that public-private partnership was fundamental to the economic growth of the state.
“The Lagos state governor and I said that since these roads are common to both of us and affecting the economy of both states and the quality of life of our people, what we should do is how to encourage public-private sector partnership,’’ he said.
He appreciated the members of the committee for the visit and sought their assistance towards ensuring the completion of the roads.
Aliero said that the Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Ajebandele-Sagamu dual carriage was funded by SUKUK.
He said that very soon, the National Assembly would give approval to President Muhammadu Buhari to borrow 29 billion dollars.
“We are sure that most of this money will be used on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of all ongoing road projects in the country.
“Government is not borrowing money to spend on recurrent expenditure; government is borrowing money to spend on infrastructure; for that reason the National Assembly is committed to granting that request,’’ he said.
He further said that the National Assembly would enact a law that would promote public-private partnership.