Lagos Light Rail Project: Fashola Inspects Impressive Progress, Assures On Timely Delivery
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Sunday inspected the ongoing Lagos Light Rail Project, declaring that the pace of construction work is quite impressive and re-assuring of timely delivery if funding is available.
click here to see many picture of the Governor's inspection
Fashola who gave the assurance while fielding questions from newsmen after conducting an on the spot assessment of work done on the project from Orile to Mile 2, said from all indications, especially given the pace at which the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), are moving with the work, the first seven kilometres of the Blue Line of the Light Rail Project will be delivered sometime in 2012 subject to availability of funds.
He charged the newsmen, "You owe all the obligations to show Lagosians what you saw. You see the work that is going on; people are working even on Sundays. So, it is a 24 – 7 - 363 day operation. They go on break only for two days in a year."
Pointing out that the essence was that through the project, people are employed and taken out of the labour market, Governor Fashola declared, "On one of the sites we have a total of 325 workers, 300 of them Nigerians and 25 Chinese. At the second site where we have the terminus, you also saw another set of workers".
"So, this is what it is all about. Those people would, probably, have been idle looking for desperate income for which there is no work. But I am happy that we are able to put them to work and give them the opportunity to retain their dignity and use their own hands and their own skills to earn a living and feed their families", the Governor said.
The Governor who was conducted round the project by the Deputy Managing Director of CCECC, Mr. Shi Hongbing, explained that the timely delivery of the project would be subject to the availability of fund but expressed optimism that the project would be delivered within the stipulated time as 90 percent of the structural work was already completed.
Asked what the Government intends to do about commercial motorcycle riders whose unruly behaviours and disregard for rules and regulations given by the State seem to have overwhelmed law enforcement agents, Governor Fashola who had earlier on the Lagos – Badagry Expressway ordered the arrest of Okada riders and vehicles driving against traffic, declared, "You will see my next line of action in the fullness of time, but I think ultimately Lagosians must have to decide whether or not they want okada. But in the meantime, they have to comply with our rules and if they don't, they will have the law enforcement agencies to contend with. We will not allow this incessant and sheer disregard for our laws, those who cannot comply should leave our State."
On the uncompleted Housing project in Ajara, near the French village in Badagry also inspected by the Governor, he explained that the state government's intention was to see the project completed.
Governor Fashola said, "What is going on here is that we want to deliver on this housing project, we have the Commissioner for Housing here, we have project consultants here. They sent memos to me but sometimes I don't do my work with memos; I want to see for myself the actual state of things I have seen what I need to see. It is not a one ministry action. Ministry of Works has already made an observation that there is need of a road network into the estate".
"Ministry of Physical Planning is here also to ensure compliance. The Chairman of the State Tenders Board is also here so that her committee will know when the thing comes and what is really needed and what questions to ask. Representative of the Ministry of Finance and the Office of Debt Management are here so that they could see what they are paying for when they are asked to bring money so that we could actually see what we are paying for and what we are doing with the Taxpayers' money", the Governor said.
He said the ministries of Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Works and Infrastructure have been directed to put the necessary infrastructures in place to make the estate accessible and attractive to the public adding that on completion, the estate would be added to the existing stock of housing units under the Lagos Home Ownership Scheme.
Also on the inspection team were the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Lanre Babalola, Commissioner for Works, Dr. Femi Hamzat, Special Adviser Works, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson and other members of the State Executive Council as well as other top government functionaries.