The Lagos State Government on Tuesday directed squatters along the ongoing Lagos-Badagry Expressway project corridor to quit, to ensure sustainability of construction works and prevent compromise of the integrity of the bridges.
The Permanent Secretary, Office of Infrastructure, Mr Olufemi Daramola, gave the directive during a sensitization and advocacy campaign in Lagos, according to a statement by Mr Shina Odunuga, spokesman, Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.
Daramola said that the government had unveiled plans to address infrastructure abuse noticed at various points along the project corridor, which had led to severe degradation on the axis.
He said the advocacy was aimed at ensuring attitudinal change for residents and commuters to take ownership of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project.
The Permanent Secretary said the government was up to its responsibility of providing basic amenities by providing good roads and bridges, drains, setbacks, walkways and other critical infrastructure.
“It is, however, unfortunate that some parts of the recently constructed sections of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway corridor have suffered tremendous abuse by users at various points, leading to severe degradation.
“Scavengers have removed components of the infrastructure that would be of benefit to us and the next generations. This infrastructure is provided using your money, our money, taxpayer’s money,” he said.
Daramola said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had declared zero tolerance for trading on the roadside or squatting under bridges in Lagos State.
He said that government, as part of efforts to ease the travelling experience on the roads, would continue to engage the public for their support toward addressing infrastructure abuse issues.
The permanent secretary said that Lagos residents’ support was needed toward taking ownership of road infrastructure, to protect “these collective assets against misuse and abuse”.
According to him, it is important to ensure the sustainability of road and transport infrastructure and prevent the need for further expenditure on infrastructure.
He warned residents to desist illegally occupying spaces under the bridges.
Daramola listed road infrastructure abuse to include display of furniture on road medians and sides, dumping of waste materials on road alignments, removal of walkways and median barrier materials.
He also cited trading, hawking and storage of items by the roadside, shanties, road side parking, removal of interlocking paving stones and vandalism of steel fence barriers.
The official said that driving against traffic, removal of railings and manhole covers, dumping of refuse in drains and take over of bridge sections by traders to become public nuisance, were also forms of abuse.
He said that the government would no longer tolerate driving against traffic, indiscriminate parking and other forms of obstructions on the highway corridor.
Daramola advised those trading on road medians/setbacks and under the bridges to vacate immediately. as sanctions would be enforced to sustain the newly constructed road.
He advised traders not to be caught on the wrong side of the law.
“We ask for so much but destroy the ones we are given with our own hands. The time has come to fight for the beauty of Lagos that we once knew,”, he said. (NAN)