CITIZENS COMPASS —The House of Representatives unveiled plans on Wednesday to investigate the remote cause of the abandonment of the N22 billion reconstruction contract for the Lagos-Sango-Abeokuta Motorway.
The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Ibrahim Isiaka, who solicited the House’s intervention.
While noting that the Lagos-Sango-Abeokuta Motorway is the only road that connects Ogun State and Ikeja parts of Nigeria, Hon. Isiaka observed that the deplorable condition of the road calls for the Federal Government’s intervention as road users spend 5-7 hours in gridlock daily.
The House further notes that the reconstruction of the road was awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria and Reynolds Construction Company Limited at the cost of N22,000,000,000 since 2018, and no tangible work has been done on the road for the past six years.
“The House is aware that the road has not witnessed any rehabilitation as commuters and heavy-duty vehicles find it difficult from Abeokuta to Lagos to ply the road, resulting in the loss of goods on a daily basis.
“The House is also aware that Section 1 of the Federal Highways Act empowers the Minister, Federal Ministry of Works, to carry out the reconstruction and maintenance of Federal roads.
The House is concerned that with the deep potholes and gully erosion ravaging the road caused by torrential rainfalls, it has not only become a death trap for commuters and residents of adjoining communities but also a breeding ground for robbery and other criminal activities,” he noted.
The lawmakers also mandated the Federal Ministry of Works to resume work and complete the construction of the Sango-Ifo-Abeokuta Motorway.
To this end, the House mandated its Committee on Works to investigate the contract and submit its report within four weeks for further legislative action.
Also at the plenary, the House called for the inclusion of the Onitsha-Atani-Ossomalla-Ogwuikpele-Ndoni road project in the 2024 budget estimates.
The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Afam Victor Ogene, who observed that the road is the only road that connects the 15 communities in Ogbaru Local Government Area/Federal Constituency of Anambra State to the rest of the state and is the shortest route to Rivers State from Anambra.
In his lead debate, Hon. Ogene lamented that the road is in a deplorable condition, making commuting a gruelling experience, which is made worse by the yearly flood disaster in the area.
According to him, the people of Ogbaru Federal Constituency, who are predominantly farmers, find it extremely difficult to transport their produce to different markets via the dilapidated road, thus impacting their contribution to the nation’s food security.
“The House is worried that this important road has become tortuous and treacherous to road users, leading to the loss of lives, farm produce, properties, and man-hours,” he noted.
In a bid to address the concern, the House urged the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to, in the meantime, provide palliative measures on the road to ease transportation thereon;
To this end, the House mandated the joint Committees on Works and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ensure compliance.