Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday said his administration’s plan to carry out a total reconstruction of the International Airport Road from Oshodi was being frustrated by the Federal Ministry of Works which his under the leadership of his predecessor, Babatunde Raji Fashola.
Ambode, who spoke to Government House correspondents at the Lagos House, shortly after carrying out an extensive inspection of some critical projects in the state, said Muritala Muhammed International Airport road required immediate attention.
He said the State Government has a design for the reconstruction of the road as well as the funds to embark on the project but the Federal Government was yet to grant approval.
He said, “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.”
He lamented that despite the fact that the Federal Government was indebted to the State to the tune of N51bn, which was spent on repairing Federal roads over the years, the LASG’s effort to transform the Airport Road to world class standard was being frustrated.
Ambode said if given the approval, his administration was ready to hit the ground running and begin construction of the airport road within two weeks and finish same within a period of six months.
Besides, the Governor also implored the Federal Government to avail the State of the N2bn appropriated for the airport road in the 2017 national budget to carry out the project.
He said, “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 N51bn 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 N51bn 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.”