• February 21, 2024

EXCLUSIVE: Despite Promises, Governor Abiodun Abandons Atan-Lusada-Agbara Road Construction

 EXCLUSIVE: Despite Promises, Governor Abiodun Abandons Atan-Lusada-Agbara Road Construction

By Damilare Adeleye

On the 7th of April, 2023 during the 10th Gateway International Trade Fair when Governor Dapo Abiodun promised to commence the construction of the Agbara-Lusada- Atan Road in two weeks’ time, many people felt respite has come not knowing it is just an empty promise.

Between then and now, it seems the Dapo Abiodun-led administration has seemingly neglected the reconstruction of the 19- kilometre Atan- Lusada-Agbara road project in Ado-Odo/ Ota Local Government Area, despite lots of failed promises between 2021 and 2023, Sparklight reports.

It was observed that the road, which was officially flagged off by the Governor on 29th April 2021, has been left in a state of comatose for motorists plying the way.

It is understood that the Agbara is a major industrial area in Ogun State as it houses many industrial factories who are key players in the state and Nigeria’s economy. The Atan-Agbara way is also a federal road which should understandably be maintained by the federal government of Nigeria. However, Governor Abiodun, when flagging off the reconstruction, disclosed that his administration had got approval from the federal government under the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, to commence work on the road.

“This road is what earns us the industrial capital of this country. Before now, the condition of the road was nothing to write home about. It was in a total and complete disrepair, rendering a lot of business moribund. Companies were closing down and going somewhere else. Some even left the country and we thought this was not good enough.

“I made a presentation to President Muhammadu Buhari to take over the road because it is a road of economic importance and we cannot claim to live up to our responsibility without taking up the repair of the road,” the governor had stated.

Empty Promises as Residents Groan Daily.

Sparklight understands that the governor had at several times made promises to see to the completion of the road by September 22.
However, residents in the areas have been left with no hope as a result of the deplorable condition of the road which has become a death trap for commuters.

Governor Abiodun, while inaugurating the reconstruction of the road in April 2021, promised that the road would be completed in 15 months time which is expected to be July, 2022 and we are now in October 2023 with nothing significant.

“Ogun West, especially the Agbara Industrial Estate in Nigeria, which is one of the biggest industrial estates, remains key to the development of Ogun State.

“In this direction, and, completion of Atan-Lusada-Agbara, which is expected in the next few months, will go a long way towards improving the quality of life and advancement of commerce in Ogun West and other industrial hubs in Ogun state,” the governor had assured during the flag-off.

Similarly, while inspecting the reconstruction in March 13 2022, Governor Abiodun, categorically stated that the road would fully be completed by September 2022.

“One lane of the road is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of this year, while the whole road project will be completed in September,” he said.

However, when our reporter visited the reconstruction site early this week 18 October, the road was in a total shame as cloud of dust painted every object along the road.

Though, a lane along Atan-Lusada has partially been almost done.

It was also observed that contractors have abandoned the road as there were no visible project equipments anywhere at the site despite that the road is yet to be completed.

In an open letter addressed to the governor, one Mawutin Imoleayo Deji, Ogun State resident, lamented the current poor state of the road, pleading with the government to direct contractors working on that road to go back to the site.

“The state of Atan-Lusada-Agbara road is going from what the contractor left with to worse than it was before they started work on it. I plied the route today and I nearly wept for frequent commuters and those residing in that axis.

“Let me be practical. The street roads like the major roads are now all blocked and flood plains. Also, send your team there and you will see how slippery that road has become to the extent that long trucks and cars are falling off the road causing havoc to commuters.

“I plead with you sir to be responsible for our plight and allow contractors working on that road to go back to the site,” the letter partly read.

Ipaye Mustapha, a passenger told our reporter that the road is in a shambles as it was always dusty at every dry season and muddy during rain season.

He said, “When you pass through during dry season, you will be treated with road powder, during raining season it may take you a day on the road if your movement is Lusada Alapoti Ketu road. During raining period,make sure you have canoe or else you will blame yourself, most of the schools and businesses on that road are closing down.”

One of the commercial drivers who often ply the route stated that the road contributed to the higher transport fare many of them charged for transport.

“From Lusada to Atan should not be more than N300 even with the petrol subsidy removal. But we collect N400 per passenger because our vehicles constantly break down due to this road.”

David Opeotan, a okada rider in Agbara motor park, said: “As you can see, many of us here use facemask. It is used to prevent the dust on the road from entering into our body system. Our clothes get very dirty as a result of the road. We even encourage our passengers to always wear something on their clothes in order not get dirty during the journey.”

He, however, appealed to the government to finish the work they have embarked on.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Mr. Olufemi Olayinka, the Press Secretary for Ogun State Ministry of Works, attributed the delay in completion of the road to constant raining.

When asked when work would resume back on the road, he promised to get back to our correspondent as he claimed to be driving on a highway. However, as of the time of filing this report, he never did as he promised.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *