The Nation (Nigeria)

Otta: Waiting for Ogun, federal govt

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Imade a very difficult decision recently to relocate to my house in Otta, Ogun state, which I completed over a year ago. Normally, I should have been excited above the movement which will spare me having to pay the high house rent I have been paying for years in Lagos, which has just been increased again, but I am still hoping I will be able to stay back fully without having to get a smaller apartment in Lagos to stay during the week due to the bad roads in Otta.

Portions of Lagos - Abeokuta and the Sango Idi-iroko express roads which should normally be my route and that many other residents, to and from Lagos are in unbelievab­le bad conditions that driving or commuting on the roads is simply hellish.

If many residents of Otta and beyond who live and work in Lagos have their way, they would not stay back considerin­g what they have to go through daily. I know some house owners who tried to live in Otta and had to return to Lagos.

Some residents of Otta and environs have to leave home as early as 4:30 am to beat the traffic caused by the bad roads. When it rains, some parts of the roads are almost impassable for both motorists and commuters.

But for the network of roads through the AIT/ Command axis of Lagos, built by the Ambode Administra­tion and the Ogun part now completed by the Dapo Abiodun's administra­tion, the situation would have been worse.

I am aware of the ongoing repairs of the Lagossango-abeokuta express by the federal government, but until the job is completed, those who have no options but to take the route have to endure the hardship.

Governor Abiodun during his inspection visit to one of the roads being reconstruc­ted by the government in Otta during the week, thankfully admitted that the state of the roads in the Otta axis is pitiable.

According to him, if the federal government had accepted his offer and that of the Lagos government, they would have taken over the repairs of the express road, while he would have also taken over the Sango-idi Iroko road that leads to the Republic of Benin.

I'm not sure what excuse the federal government has for not granting the request by the Lagos and Ogun governor is, but the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Raji Fashola may need to see the state of the road to know how urgent the work on the roads need to be done before residents are cut off from being able to drive through to the connecting road to Lagos.

The Living Faith Church whose headquarte­rs is along the Idi Iroko road had at various times done temporary filling of some bad portions of the roads, but the present state of damage requires major work to be done beyond palliative measures.

What's happening in Otta and environs like in many parts of the country is simply an indication of how the government continues to fail to meet its obligation­s to the citizens. It's sad that the state and federal government­s have allowed the roads in the area to degenerate to the present level that has subjected residents to harrowing experience­s daily.

Otta is supposed to be an Industrial town and neighbouri­ng axis to accommodat­e the overflowin­g Lagos teaming population, but it's unfortunat­e that it has been neglected over the years.

There is a massive movement of Lagos residents into Otta and environs but not enough is being done to acknowledg­e the need for the provision of commensura­te facilities and basic needs of the people.

The Ogun state government has to give more attention to developmen­ts in the Otta end of the state which has lots of potentials to grow the economy of the state. The federal government should be concerned about the impression foreign visitors on the Idi Iroko route have of our country when they drive through the gullies on the road.

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