Lagos State Government has raised alarm over continued theft of manhole covers on roads in the state, promising to continually pursue infrastructure delivery that would meet needs.
Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, Special Adviser to the state Governor on Works and Infrastructure, raised the alarm at a stakeholders’ meeting for the rehabilitation of Sobo Arobiodun Street in Ikeja GRA.
She was responding to concerns raised by some residents over missing manholes in some parts of the GRA, constituting danger.
Adeyoye said that she was saddened by continued `serial’ vandalism of manholes in the state.
“It grieves my heart that it is not because the state government has not provided the manholes.
“Eric Moore Road was constructed eight or 10 years back with every manhole on that alignment but if you go there now, 90 per cent of those manholes is gone.
“They are gone not because government has not provided them, but because of the serial vandalism that we have seen taking place.
“On most of our major roads, they are gone,’’ she said.
She said that influx of people had made scavengers to steal manhole covers for sale, adding that some other residents turned them to refuse cans.
She appealed to the residents to assist the government to take ownership of manhole covers and other road infrastructure to prevent their damage.
Adeyoye added that the state government would revisit its environmental laws to profile scavengers to ensure they would not sell stolen road infrastructure.
She said that the Sanwo-Olu administration was following a standard operating practice which must include stakeholders’ input so that people would understand projects and get involved.
She said the planned rehabilitation of Sobo Arobiodun Street in Ikeja GRA was in line with the Urban Regeneration Intervention Programme which recommended upgrading of road infrastructure within Ikeja Government Reservation Area (GRA).
“Sobo Arobiodun is a major arterial which connects directly, Bank Anthony Road to Oba Akinjobi Street and interconnects eight roads to form a network.
“The road is for you, and we need to have your buy in so that there will be less friction during the course of the project,’’ she said.
She said that the road was located in a high-end residential area with commercial businesses, adding that its construction would improve socio-economic activities due to its interconnectivity with other roads in Ikeja.
She said that the construction which included provision of a functional drainage system would eliminate gridlock and reduce travel time.
Adeyoye also said that the government would address other issues raised at the meeting including security challenges and inadequate laybys.
A town planner from the state Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Akeem Animasaun, said the Right of Way (RoW) recovery would follow due process.
He said that staff of the ministry would be visiting the site in collaboration with some other ministries to mark affected buildings in line with dimensions given to the ministry.
The General Manager, Lagos State Parks and Gardens, Mrs Ibilola Popoola, said that an assessment of the green areas had been done and 75 trees on the RoW would be given the right treatment.
She said that those constituting nuisance due to old age would be removed and viable ones transplanted.
She said that on completion of the road, the remaining portions would be landscaped and trees replanted.
“We have estimated that we should be able to plant about 200 to 300 trees depending on what is on ground including grass,’’ she said.
Dr Muize Banire, a three-term Lagos State Commissioner, thanked the government for the project but noted that heavy trucks were going through the GRA.
He promised cooperation of residents and urged that a maintenance package should go with the contract for the contractor to maintain the road for some time.
Banire who is the Ikeja Residents Association Chairman called for measures on Adekunle Fajuyi Road – a major road linking a rail line and has a lot of pot holes.
He called for increased budgetary allocation to tackle flooding on the Remi FaniKayode Road.
He also called for fixing of emerging potholes on Isaac John Street while urging improved street lighting facilities in the area.
Some other residents complained of accessibility of roads on the GRA to commercial vehicles, which they claimed caused increased vehicular traffic and quick road degeneration.
A representative of the contractor, Mrs Grace Okoya, while giving a brief of the project, said that the contractor had the capacity to handle the project and assured commitment to deliver high quality work.
She said that the delivery period would be 12 months but cooperation of stakeholders could reduce the completion period.