By Dipo Olowookere
Lagos State government on Monday flagged off the reconstruction of the Oshodi-International Airport Road, with a pledge to complete the project within the next fifteen months.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had last month at the quarterly Town Hall Meeting held in Badore area of Ajah announced that the reconstruction of the road, which is a major gateway to the country, would commence in September, and that the construction would facilitate the transformation of the road to a world class standard.
Specifically, the design of the project include the reconstruction and expansion of the existing carriage to three-lane Expressway on both directions, construction of two-lane Service Road in both directions, construction of Ramp Bridge to provide a U-turn from Ajao Estate to Airport, construction of a flyover at NAHCO/Toll Gate and drainage works.
Others include the removal of existing pedestrian bridge at Ajao Estate and construction of pedestrian bridges at Ajao Estate and NAHCO/Hajj Camp, construction of Slip Road to provide access to Ajao Estate, construction of lay-bys and installation of street lights, among others.
Speaking while flagging off the project, Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Engr Adebowale Akinsanya, said the commencement of the project was in line with the commitment of the present administration to transform the entire axis, being the major gateway to the country’s commercial nerve centre.
He said the state government took it upon itself to undertake the reconstruction of the road being one of the busiest roads in the state with vehicular volumes averaging 50,000 vehicles daily, and that its poor state was not acceptable for the status of the state as the fifth largest economy in Africa and the nation’s commercial hub.
He said some of the fences along the corridor have been identified to be within the right of way, but that government would minimize the impact of the project on property owners.
He said in order to properly carry along people of the area, a stakeholders’ meeting will hold on Thursday to sensitize the people whereby they will have an opportunity to ask the necessary questions.
He said to fast-track the project, three group of workers will work on the project and they would work day and night, while upon completion, the project will be linked to the Oworonshoki reclamation project, which is also ongoing and is aimed at transforming the corridor to a major entertainment and tourism hub.
The Commissioner, however, urged residents and motorists to cooperate with government while the construction will last, saying that the intention was to transform the area.
“There will be some minor inconveniences but we are going to try to mitigate the impact. The work will be accelerated. The project is to make life easier for everybody. We just want to appeal to people to cooperate with us. We will be here to talk to the people in case of any issue and we are also working with our partner, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN),” the Commissioner said.
Also speaking, Managing Director of Planet Projects, the firm that designed the project, Mr Biodun Otunola said prior to the commencement of the construction, adequate feasibility studies were carried out, and that the project, upon completion, would facilitate total transformation of Oshodi and International Airport corridor.
He said in as much as there would not be alternative roads created specifically for the project, adequate measures have been put in place to educate the public on the staging that would be developed, saying that the project would be executed in phases, while motorists will make use of other sections of the road during construction work on a particular section.
Mr Otunola, whose company is also handling the construction of the Oshodi Transport Interchange, said by the time the road project and the interchange are completed, the whole axis would have been transformed to world class standard.
“The desire of the State Government under Governor Ambode is to ensure that this whole corridor is turned into an international corridor so that investors and the people can be proud that we have an international gateway that we all can be proud of.
“We are not just building roads, we are thinking of the transportation implication and so there is a bus reform project that is ongoing and every part of Lagos will be connected by bus and that is why this road project will be linked to the Oshodi interchange. So, there will be about 20 lay-bys, bus terminals and so on which are all flowing from the same Master plan for this area,” he said
Violent Protest Erupts in Ibadan Over Naira Scarcity
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
There are reports of a violent protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over the scarcity of old and new Naira notes, Business Post has gathered.
It was learned that residents of the ancient city are venting their anger over the hardship caused by the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government.
The central bank redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and asked citizens to return their old banknotes because they would cease to be legal tender.
However, since the introduction of the new currency notes in circulation on December 15, 2022, many Nigerians have not been able to withdraw their money from banks, fuelling anger in the land.
On Friday afternoon, some residents of Ibadan, especially in Iwo Road, took to the streets to express their frustration at the development, which is coming at a time consumers have to queue for petrol.
They had bonfires on the road and disrupted business activities in some areas of the city.
Recall that today, the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, announced the suspension of his campaign activities over the scarcity of Naira and fuel.
Also on Friday, the Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) met with President Muhammadu Buhari to appeal to him to change his mind on the Naira swap policy because of the effect on the people and the 2023 general elections starting later this month.
The President had earlier been asked not to show up in Kano State because of fears of a violent protest over the development. After the deadline was moved forward, the Governor of the state, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said he was safe to visit the ancient city.
However, during his visit to Kano, there were reports of a demonstration, with a chopped stoned by some residents of the state and convoys attacked by angry protesters.
The government claimed the protest was not directed at President Buhari, while the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said otherwise.
APC Governors Beg Buhari to Allow Use of Old, New Naira Notes
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to allow the use of old and Naira notes as legal tender in the country until the former is naturally mopped up from the circulation.
This appeal was made on Friday by Governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during a meeting with Mr Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
In a brief chat with reporters after the meeting, the Governor of Kano State, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said after the request was made to the President, he promised to look into it.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last month redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes and said the old currency denominations would cease to be legal tender from January 31, 2023.
However, two days before the deadline, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, after a meeting with President Buhari in his hometown in Daura, Katsina State, said the deadline had been shifted to February 10, 2023, noting that Nigerians had a grace period of February 17, 2023, to return the old notes to the bank.
On Tuesday, January 31, he appeared before the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on the CBN policy to say Nigerians could still take their old notes to banks after the deadline, promising that citizens will not lose their funds.
Today, the APC Governors met with Mr Buhari to discuss the scarcity of Naira in the financial system and also the lingering fuel scarcity.
One of the Governors present at the gathering, Mr Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, had claimed this week that the scarcity of cash and petrol was the handiwork of some elements in the Villa, who do not want the party to succeed in the forthcoming elections.
“We spoke with the President to allow the old and new notes to co-exist until the old notes die a natural death,” Mr Ganduje told newsmen while walking out after the meeting.
“Sir, did you discuss the petrol scarcity with him,” one of the reporters asked the Kano Governor, and he responded, “Yes.”
Oyo Governor Suspends Campaign Activities Over Fuel, Naira Crisis
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Due to the unending fuel and new Naira notes crisis rocking the country, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has suspended his campaign activities.
Mr Makinde is seeking another term in office under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He commenced his campaign activities last month, asking residents of the state to give him another chance to serve them.
But the scarcity of premium petrol spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, and cash has put Nigerians under untold hardship.
Governor Makinde, during the flag-off of the Omi-Adio-Ido Road on Friday, said in solidarity with the people over anti-people economy policies of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government, he would be suspending his campaign.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun confirmed this.
In the statement, Mr Makinde, who was in Ido to continue his campaign, directed that all campaign activities be suspended until further notice.
Mr Olatubosun said Governor Makinde noted that the suffering of his people was too much, saying he was elected to protect their interests and well-being.
The Commissioner said his boss, in an emotionally laden voice, directed leaders of the party in Oyo State to suspend the campaign.
“As a mark of honour to citizens and residents of Oyo State, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has directed that all campaign activities of the party at all levels be suspended until further notice,” the statement read.
“Governor Seyi Makinde’s love for his people necessitated this unprecedented move at this time. We urge all residents and citizens of the State to remain calm as we navigate through this difficult period together,” he added.
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