The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday expressed dismay that the Federal Ministry of Works, under a former governor of the state, Babatunde Fashola, could be the one frustrating his administrationÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s projects.
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Among the projects he accused Fashola of frustrating is the state governmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s plan to carry out a total reconstruction of the International Airport Road from Oshodi.
Ambode expressed his worry when he spoke with government house correspondents at the Lagos House as soon as he finished carrying out an extensive inspection of some critical projects in the state.
According to the governor, the current state of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport Road has become a national disgrace and needs urgent attention.
Adding that his administration at the moment has a design for the reconstruction of the road as well as the funds to embark on the project, he however regretted that the Federal Ministry of Work under Fashola was yet to grant the approval.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½The road linking Oshodi to the International Airport, you would all agree with me is a national embarrassment. In the spirit of the regeneration and urbanization that this administration has set out to achieve, we believe strongly that the image that is exhume by the decadence of that road must be repaired and we took it upon ourselves to appropriate the 2017 budget that the House of Assembly should approve the total reconstruction of the Airport Road from Oshodi to the International Airport.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½The state currently has a design of 10 lanes to come from Oshodi to the international airport with interchange and flyover that would drop you towards the local airport. The contractor is already set to go and everything as I said has been completed and we already have the cash, but we are having challenges with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing. This is a federal and not a state road. The Federal Ministry of Works believes that they should do the road, but they have not been able to do it all these years past,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ he said.
Ambode, who lamented that the federal government was indebted to the state to the tune of N51 billion spent on repairing federal roads over the years, wondered why Federal Government is refusing to approve his administrationÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½s effort to immediately transform the airport road to world
Ambode said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½I just want to remind Lagosians that prior to my becoming governor the Federal Ministry of Works owed Lagos State a total of N51billion as reimbursement for reconstruction that was carried out by the state government on federal roads in the state.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½So obviously, what we are asking for is that whatever it is that we are asking for, it can never be up to the N51billion that they owe us.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½I just want to appeal to the Federal Ministry of Works, to let go or reimburse us with whatever it is that they owe us and even if they are not willing to pay us now, we have the money to do it. It is a national disgrace and we would not be part of it. We would like to do it as part of the celebration of Lagos at 50.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½
Ambode further regretted that six months after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the handover of the Presidential Lodge, Marina, the state government was yet to gain access into the premises.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½One of the key venues that we need to celebrate the real essence of Lagos, the historic place that we refer to as Presidential Lodge is still more or less being tossed about in terms of being handed over to us. We believe strongly that by May 27, 2017, we should be able to invite Mr. President and other people who have actually made Lagos what is it today to that Presidential Lodge for the final banquet and dinner to mark Lagos at 50.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½As we speak, we are yet gain entrance into that place and this is frustrating our programme. So I want to use this medium to appeal and say that the approval of Mr. President should be rightly honoured and the agencies concerned, that is the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Security Services should honour that promise by Mr. President. We just believe strongly that we must proceed to gain access into that place so that we can roll out our programmes for Lagos at 50,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½ he said.
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