Obafemi Hamzat

Lagos/Ogun joint development to bring succour to border communities

By Oluwatope Lawanson

Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Wednesday, said that the Lagos/Ogun Joint Development Commission would create a harmonious relationship that would be beneficial to the residents of the border communities.

Hamzat made the declaration during an interview session with newsmen in Lagos.

The Deputy Gov. made it clear that the various developmental projects embarked upon by Lagos would also benefit those working in Lagos but are living in the adjourning communities on the border of the two states.

“The various developmental road projects will benefit those that are working in Lagos but are living in the border communities.

“Though the essence is not for Lagos or Ogun State to take up the responsibility of each other, the essence is to collaborate.

“The red line for the railway under construction will end at Ijoko Ota which is in Ogun State, which means we will have to collaborate with the government of Ogun State.

“We need to collaborate with the Ogun State government to get land to build the station at Ijoko to move people from Ogun to Lagos.

Hamzat noted that since Lagos only shared a border with Ogun, road construction to the border communities would be a joint responsibility of both states.

“Lagos has only shares border with Ogun State, so for example, if we are constructing a link road to the border community, the essence of the commission is to make sure that the road does not end with us.

“The Ogun State government should take the road construction from where we stop and continue with the good road. We share information about development, but it is difficult to plan for Ogun State.

“Taking our buses down to the inner community in Ogun State borders on the road infrastructure will have an impact on our buses.

“We need to make provision for the infrastructure for the buses to operate because of wear and tear, but I must say that the priority of both states are different from each other,” he said.

Hamzat noted that the state planned for about 5,000 last-mile buses which are already operating with only 500 buses now.

“We started the Last Mile transit with 500 buses but the good thing is that the buses are not just imported they are assembled here in Nigeria.

“So the moment the first 500 is ready we will push it out. We don’t want it to be done outside so that we can create employment for our people here.

“The target is about 5,000 buses so others will come to create jobs for everyone,” he said.

On the menace of motor park touts and the attendant implications on the commuter, the deputy governor noted that the Lagos State government is already engaging the transport unions.

“To find a lasting peace to the transport union crisis is something in progress; NURTW is a national union and their receipts are printed at the national level and distributed to the states.

“We have had a conversation with the unions that we don’t want them to be collecting their levies on the road.

“I am a member of Nigeria Society of Engineers and also pay my dues, but they don’t come to harass me on the road, they will only write me letters.

“We have engaged the transport unions on ways to have their levies at the park but we don’t just engage with Lagos alone we have to do the engagement at the national level,” he said.

Hamzat added “We suggested that they should count the numbers of their parks, we can even collect the monies on their behalf and send it to them.

“The suggestion made to them seems to sort of distorting their processes, so we need to work out that process.

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“As a government, we have made it clear that the chaos often created at the parks are unacceptable.

“Lagosians should give us some time to resolve this and find a way around it, we don’t want to disturb their business, but we want peace,” he said (NAN)

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