The continuous theft of manhole covers in Lagos state has led to Lagos state government raising alarm, ensuring to continually pursue infrastructure delivery that would meet needs.
Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure, in person of Mrs Aramide Adeoye brought up this issue at the stakeholder’s meeting for the rehabilitation of Sobo Arobiodun Street in Ikeja GRA. She was addressing the concerns made by residents over missing manholes in some parts of GRA leading to danger. She expressed her sadness and concern at the continuous rate of serial vandalism of manholes in the state.
She stated “It grieves my heart that it is not because the state government has not provided the manholes. Eric Moore Road was constructed eighth to ten years back with every manhole on that alignment but if you go there now, 90 percent of those manholes are 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 that influx of people had made scavengers to steal manhole covers for sale, adding that some of the residents turned them to refuse cans.
She pleaded to the residents to work with the government to recover the manholes and other road infrastructure to prevent further hazard.
She further said that the state government would take proper look at its environmental laws to identify scavengers so as to ensure the road infrastructure they steal cannot be sold.
Adeoye stated that the Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu and his administration was adhering to a standard operating practice which must include stakeholders’ input so that people would understand projects and get involved.
She revealed that the scheduled 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 GRA. She said “Sobo Arobiodun is a major arterial which connects directly, Bank Anthony Road to Oba Akinjobi Street and interconnects eight roads to form a network”. In her words, “The road is for you, and we need to have your buy in so there will be less friction during the course of the project.”
She added that the road was positioned in a high-end residential area with commercial businesses and that its construction would lead to better socio-economic activities due to it link with other major roads in Ikeja.
She stated that the benefit of the construction would be the elimination of gridlock and reduction in travel time by the provision of a well-functioning drainage system.
Security challenges and inadequate laybys are some of the other issues raised at the meeting in which Adeoye confirmed that the government would address.
Mr Akeem Animasaun, a town planner from the State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development stated that the Right of Way (ROW) recovery would follow proper process. He included that in collaboration with other ministries, staff of the ministry would be visiting the site to note affected buildings in line with dimensions given to the ministry.
Mrs Ibilola Popoola, the General Manager, Lagos State Parks and Gardens stated that an assessment of the green areas had taken place and 75 trees on the ROW would be given adequate treatment. She said those that are growing properly sue to old age would be removed and viable ones would be transplanted.
Mrs Ibilila said “We have estimated that we should be able to plant about 200 to 300 trees depending on what is on ground including grass.”
A three term Lagos State Commissioner, Dr Muize Banire Who is the chairman of the Ikeja Residents Association appreciated the government for the project but highlighted that heavy trucks were going through the GRA. He assured the compliance of residents and requested that a maintenance package should go along with the contract for the contractor to maintain the road for a certain period. Banire called for measures on Adekunle Fajuyi Road, a major road linking a rail line and has a lot of pot holes.
He requested for an increase in budgetary allocation to address the issue of flooding on the Remi FaniKayode Road. He also called for the repair of emerging potholes on Isaac John Street while urging improved street lighting facilities in the area.
A few other residents made complaints on accessibility of roads on the GRA to commercial vehicles, which according to them increased the rate of traffic and quick degeneration of the road.
On behalf of the contractor, Mrs Grace Okoya gave a brief on the project and while doing that, she mentioned that the contractor is capable enough to handle the project and ensured commitment to bring forth excellent quality of output. She included that the delivery period would take 12 months but alliance of stakeholders could reduce the completion period.