By Ebenezer Ishola
Inauguration of the newly-upgraded Oba Sekumade Road in Ipakodo, Ikorodu Division, on Friday, moved the residents into spontaneous jubilation in a show of appreciation to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for fulfilling his pledge.
Sanwo-Olu commissioned the infrastructure, which now provides easy access to residential and industrial areas in Ibeshe, Igbogbo-Baiyeku, Ebute Ipakodo, Ikorodu town and Ipakodo Mega Jetty Terminal.
The Governor also rehabilitated the failed sections of T.O.S Benson Road, covering a stretch of 500 metres. To ease vehicular congestion on the T.O.S Benson Road, a comprehensive junction improvement project was carried out by the State Government to diffuse traffic towards Ikorodu Roundabout.
Commuters’ experience on Oba Sekumade Road was harrowing, given its deplorable conditions. This prompted the Government to list the 2.5-kilometre single-lane roadway in the State’s strategic emergency road rehabilitation programme and was awarded for comprehensive upgrading and expansion, using Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (CRCP).
The intervention saw the busy road upgraded from a single-lane to rigid concrete dual carriageway, thereby improving connectivity and bringing relief to commuting public plying the route.
The road was the first major infrastructure project to be inaugurated by the Governor after he won his re-election two weeks ago.
Sanwo-Olu described the commissioning as a “thank you” gift for the electorate in Ikorodu Division for turning out the second largest vote number that made his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), to win the last gubernatorial election.
He said: “Today, we have come back to Ikorodu Division to show our appreciation and say big ‘Thank You’ to Ikorodu residents for keeping faith with our Government. This town has been good to our party with its outstanding voters’ support during elections. What else can we do to demonstrate our appreciation other than to come to this important base of Lagos heritage and hand over a gift of infrastructure that will bring huge benefits to the people.
“The commissioning of Oba Sekumade Road and the rehabilitation of T.O.S Benson Road point to another demonstration of what purposeful governance is all about. These projects reflect our commitment to deliver dividends of democracy and ensure that development touches every nook and cranny of Lagos. These projects are strategic to strengthen various interventions initiated to improve traffic management on this axis. The hardship being experienced by drivers has been resolved, as we have enhanced connectivity and reduced journey time.
Sanwo-Olu said the Ikorodu Division would further reap more infrastructure benefits during his second term, stressing that the State Government had gotten the assurance of contractors to accelerate construction work on other infrastructure projects being constructed in the area.
The Governor particularly mentioned the ongoing construction of Agric-Isawo Road, which the contractor had pushed to 60 per cent completion. He pledged there would be improvement in the pace of work on Ewu Elepe-Gberigbe Road, Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu Road and Adamo-Agunfoye Road construction.
He also charged Lagos State Public Works Corporation to race up the work on Igbogbo-Baiyeku Road in order to improve connectivity within the axis.
Sanwo-Olu said the traffic interchange being developed at Ita Elewa Roundabout will change the transportation landscape of Ikorodu when completed. The project, currently at 55 percent completion, will open a new BRT corridor within Ikorodu.
He said: “What we are about is ensuring that the next four years come with bigger dividends delivered faster than we have done in our first tenure. There will be accelerated development across the city in next dispensation. Ikorodu is part of the Greater Lagos that is rising.
“In the next couple months, we will be doing groundbreaking for the Fourth Mainland Bridge, which will cut across major sections on Sagamu-Ikorodu Expressway before finally opening to Lagos Ibadan Expressway. We are committed to delivering this project in our second term to completely open Ikorodu to the world.”
Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, said the upgrade of Oba Sekumade Road to a rigid pavement dual carriageway did not only solve traffic problems experienced on the highway, but also solved flooding issues threatening adjoining residential communities.
She said the State Government’s insistence on sustainable infrastructure, adequate drainage channels, and quality lighting facilities done on the road underscored the Sanwo-Olu administration commitment to high standards.
“I believe that with the rehabilitation and upgrade of this road, the challenge of flooding and inadequate capacity will now become a thing of the past. This in turn will also translate into improved free flow of traffic and a much needed reduction in travel time for the business owners in the area and the motoring public at large,” she said.
The Sekumade of Ipakodo, Oba Bashiru Shotonwa, described the development as ”historic”, noting that the road remained significant for socio-economic development of Ikorodu.
The traditional ruler said the road condition worsened due to the influx of manufacturing companies and residential development, which mounted pressure on its usage.
“Mr. Governor, by fulfilling your promise to us today, you have written your name in gold in the history of Ipakodo. We will continue to remember your name for good,” Oba Shotonwa said.
Member representing Ikorodu II in the House of Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, said the huge votes turned out from Ikorodu was to reciprocate the Governor’s gesture towards renewing infrastructure in the town.
The lawmaker said the rehabilitation of TOS Benson Road was an icing on the cake, as it was not part of the original project.
“These roads have brought huge relief to commuters on this axis and we can now say goodbye to flooding of our streets” Agunbiade said.