Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, on Wednesday while speaking with Government House Correspondents at the Lagos House, said that his predecessor who is the current Minister of Works is frustrating his administration’s plan to execute a total reconstruction of the International Airport Road.
Ambode stated this shortly after he inspected some projects in Lagos State.
The Governor added that the state of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road was a national disgrace and required immediate attention.
He stated further that the Lagos State Government has the design for the reconstruction of the road and the funds to execute the project but the Federal Government was yet to still grant them approval to carry on.
“The road linking Oshodi to the International Airport, you would all agree with me is a national embarrassment. In the spirit of the regeneration and urbanisation that this administration has set out to achieve, we believe strongly that the image that is exhumed 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.
“The 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 alas 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.”
Governor Ambode noted that despite the huge amount of debt to the tune of N51billion currently been owed to the Lagos State Government by the Federal Government, his administration was still ready to fix the airport road.
“I just want to remind Lagosians that prior to my becoming governor, the Federal Ministry of Works has been owing Lagos State a total of N51billion as reimbursement for reconstruction that was carried out by the state government on federal roads in the State.
“So obviously, what we are asking for is that whatever it is that we are asking for, it can never be up to the N51 billion that they are owing us.
“I just want to appeal to the Federal Ministry of Works, to let go or reimburse us with whatever it is that they are owing 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,” Ambode said.
Mr. Ambode also said that six months after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the handover of the Presidential Lodge, Marina, the Lagos State Government was yet to gain access, which according to him was seriously frustrating the programme and plans for the Lagos at 50 celebration.
“One 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.
“As 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,” Governor Ambode said.