…Orders Police To Enforce Okada Restriction On Mile 12-Ikorodu Road
…Tells Area Boys To Lay Down Arms For Rehabilitation, Empowerment
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Lagos State governor, on Thursday said his government would formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with investors for the construction of the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge before the end of May this year.
Ambode stated this at the First Quarter 2016 Town Hall Meeting, the third in the series, held at the Ikorodu Town Hall, Ikorodu, assuring residents that once the MoU is signed, work would begin on the 4th Mainland Bridge.
Thousands of residents from the Ikorodu area thronged the Town Hall to be part of the event, which attracted several government officials, especially members of his cabinet as well as royal fathers, market men and women, artisans as well as politicians.
Although the event was scheduled to start by 10.am, the hall was already jam-packed as early as 8.am, while a large number of security personnel were there to keep the peace and maintain order in the vicinity.
The crowd went was exhilarated when the sighted the governor and his entourage and the hall exploded with songs and praises as he was ushered into the crowded hall.
The governor told the gathering that when completed, the 4th Mainland Bridge would go a long way to boost the economy of Lagos East Senatorial District.
Ambode said: “Many investors have shown interest in the actualisation of our dream for the 4th Mainland Bridge, which will run from Ajah to Ikorodu to Isawo and berth at Ojodu, Ikeja, back to the Ibadan expressway. By the grace of God, we will sign an MoU and commence action before May 29”.
The governor hinted that investors had also shown interest in the redevelopment of the fish market to an international fish market and the redevelopment of inner roads in Epe and Ibeju-Lekki.
Ambode said the intention of his administration was to ensure that no part of the state was left undeveloped, expressing optimism that the Lagos East Senatorial District, which used to be the economic hub of the state in the then Western Region, would regain its position.
He stressed: “Over the years, the economic activities have continually dwindled resulting in urban migration, underdevelopment and unemployment. It is with a view of revitalising the economic activities of this zone that government has identified the need for urgent intervention.
“To this end, government will be relocating the Mile 12 Market to Imota. Work on this will commence next week. Our vision is to make the East Senatorial Zone economically viable and liveable.”
On complaints over the menace of motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada riders in the state, Ambode asked the people whether they would support a total ban on such mode of transportation in this age and time and in a city like Lagos, a question which was answered in the affirmative by majority of the stakeholders in the hall, who raised their hands in support.
Ambode said: “I am encouraged by this very transparent, credible, free and fair affirmation which I just got from the people. From the response, many of the people in this hall are in support of a total ban on Okada and since this is a government of the people, all the security agencies in Lagos, including the Police, Task Force, LASTMA and others, to start with, are hereby directed to fully enforce the ban on Okada between Mile 12 and Ikorodu.
“We will not tolerate Okada on the road and I hereby emphasise that there is no more Okada on Mile 12-Ikorodu Road. Anyone caught flouting this directive will have their Okada impounded and we would prosecute such people as well before the court.”
On the need for the youths in the state to key into the programmes lined up for them by his administration, Ambode urged street urchins (Area Boys) and youths involved in social vices such as cultism, to lay down their arms, assuring that they would be empowered to be gainfully and productively engaged.
He said the plan of his administration was that youths, artisans and entrepreneurs in each of the Senatorial districts and divisions in the State would be able to access at least N1billon between now and June, and use same for their greater economic prosperity, and by extension that of the State.
Ambode, who also responded to pleas by Ikorodu residents on the need for the expansion and rehabilitation of the road network, assured that government would explore the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative to transform the Ikorodu-Imota-Agbowa-Itokin-Epe Road into a standard eight-lane Road.
He also directed the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources as well as the State Electricity Board to look at the possibilities of providing electricity for Igbo-Olomu community, a suburb in Ikorodu, which had been without light for over 10 years.
Highlighting some of his administration’s strides in the last quarter, r Ambode said the state achieved major breakthrough in security, saying that since the launch of the N4.78 billion equipment, the state had won several battles against crime.
He said the quick response in the rescue of the kidnapped girls in Ikorodu and the quelling of the Mile 12 riot were testimonies of the effectiveness of the security system in Lagos.
The governor added that many criminals had so far been arrested since the launch of the security equipment, saying that he was ready to pay for information given that would lead to the arrest of hardened criminals.
“I am ready to pay monetary compensation for information on hardened criminals as we proceed to make Lagos crime-free. We are happy to report that crime rate has also reduced in the last three months,” he said.
Ambode also appealed to residents to continue to pay their taxes, take ownership of projects in their domain and support the government to achieve the policies and programmes aimed at ensuring a safe and prosperous Lagos.