The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has stated that the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressway will be jointly rehabilitated by the federal and Ogun state governments.
The minister, who was on a tour of federal roads in Ogun state, along with officials of the ministry, stated this Thursday, while on a courtesy call on Governor Dapo Abiodun in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Umahi, while replying to Governor Abiodun on the frustration experienced by Ogun and Lagos States during the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to get the road done, disclosed that the period of bureaucracy in road construction in the country was over.
He noted that if the Federal Government is looking for corporate organisations to get involved in road construction and management, state governments should not be denied the same opportunity.
“Let me say something about the frustration you had while you and the Lagos State government wrote to take over the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road. Let me announce to you that it falls under our new program, HDMI, which is the High Way Development Management Initiative. It is a public-private partnership programme.
“People should begin to look at a state as a corporate entity. If you are looking for investors to come and invest on our roads; to construct, to own, to maintain and toll, why shouldn’t a state do that?
“So, on this Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road, I want us to work together, we’ve done 30% of the work. You can own 60%, we own 40% and you can do your portion of the 60%. You can give it to a contractor of your choice.
“I don’t believe in bureaucracy; we cannot reset the economy with the type of bureaucracy we have.
“If I get your request on this by WhatsApp, I will respond to you immediately. We will handle it under our HDMI,” he said.
Governor Abiodun commended the Federal Government for bringing a new lease of life into the way and manner that approvals are given for road construction.
Abiodun expressed the hope that the Federal Government would help to fast-track the reconstruction of the Sagamu end of the Sagamu-Ore road.
“I am hoping that you will be able to help us fast track the construction of Sagamu-Ore road because we as a state government have continued to maintain that road, I am hoping you could use your good office to assist us in ensuring that the road is funded,” he said.