by Usman Alabi
They are five mega structures, and their location signifies the commitment of the state government to open up the fringes of the state for a backward and forward linkage type of economic development. Beyond this, it also demystify the conception that Ogun state starts and end in Abeokuta.
Ijoko, Agbado, Lambe, Akute and Alagbole are major gateway to Ogun State, hence locating five flyovers in these communities would have open up these communities in all ramifications; help Ogun to further explore the economic opportunity of being closer to Lagos, one of which is in the fact that people can live in Ogun and work in Lagos with reduced traffic hitch. It would also have opened up the economy of these communities, driving a lot of people to conveniently do business in these areas thereby having a positive impact on the IGR of the state.
The flyovers would have conveniently link all these communities, thus giving them the potential of becoming an economic bloc in Ogun state, the ease of transport that would come from the completion of the projects would have increased the number of residents in that area from Lagos especially and other part of Ogun. More people mean more business because an infrastructure has a way of bringing people to a locality and giving them reasons why they have to stay to do business.
Some of the residents of the communities explained that they were attracted to the area because of the flyovers; they envisaged the economic advantage of having the flyovers in the area. These five mega projects were designed to engender development, and that is exactly what they would have brought if they had been completed. One thing about infrastructures is that you cannot totally capture the advantages they would bring until they are completed.
The projects in their present state now endangers development. They are a shadow of the intended reality. The Lambe and Alagbole flyovers are in perilous state; the road leading to the lambe flyover is sloppy, untared and almost becoming like a hill top.
It is not a wonderful experience passing through this area, the same applies to the Alagbole flyover which is even a threat to lives and properties. A commuter narrated an accident that recently occurred at the location of the flyover, a car whose break failed hit the flyover and instantly the driver lost his live and others sustained mortal injuries. That is the major reason why car tires are parked in front of the flyover to forestall occurrence of accident.
The abandoned flyovers further complicate the bad state of the roads, the projects are currently not useful and they are at the same time spacious, making easy and free flow of traffic a day dream. Especially at Alagbole, Lambe and Akute. The untared roads are filled with dry red dust that turn murky, slippery and dangerous during rainy season. The whole project in their present state are now bane to development.
These abandoned projects are also deteriorating and would continue to deteriorate unless something is immediately done to continue work at these sites. In their current state, they are not of any use, and if they keep standing without deliberate action designed to complete them, the structures could weaken, thus constituting a direct threat to safety of lives and properties. The project is driving people away from the areas, driving markets as well as potential investors.
The State government should realize that it takes more to complete abandoned projects, and the cost of completing an abandoned project continue to increase as each day passes.
But the people in these communities would continue to lament over these projects because they were told that it would engender development, but in its present state it is endangering development, and it would continue to until something is done.