The Lagos State House of Assembly has frowned at delay of projects caused by the problems associated with Right of Way.
Chairman of the House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Hon. Abiodun Tobun, representing Epe Constituency 1, who made the assertion then said that a solution must be found to issues associated with Right Of Way so that road projects could be delivered in time.
The lawmaker, who spoke to journalists after a session with some contractors handling various road projects in the state on Friday, said that something should be done probably through a law or a legal framework so that the issue could be put to stop.
“We discovered that when contracts are given out, the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure processes the approval and releases money to contractors. But the contractors would not be able to deliver the project in time due to issues relating to Right Of Way.
“The contractors would tell you that they didn’t have the Right of Way, which was why the job is not moving.
“I would want a situation, where the issue of Right of Way is resolved before jobs are given to contractors. Not that, when money has been released to contractors they would be talking about Right of Way.
“You can see what happened in Ikoyi, where they said they should not cut a tree, which is why they could not construct a road for four months. This is not fair to the government as money has been released to the contractors. So, the issue of Right of Way must be resolved and it is compelling that the ministries must work together,” he said.
Tobun added that the Ministry of Physical Planning should deliver the Right of Way, and that the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure must involve the Ministry of Physical Planning at conceptualization stage.
He stated that the Ministry of Physical Planning must work on the Right of Way before money is released to contractors, and that the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure must also work with the Ministry of the Environment, which would tell them the drainage alignment before work would begin.
“We don’t want a situation, whereby tax payers money would be released to the contractors and money would be in the contractors’ account before we talk of Right of Way.
“We are appropriating funds to them. We must ensure that the funds appropriated to them are judiciously utilised to serve members of the public.
“This is important to us and germaine to members of the public. We want the Ministry of Physical Planning, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and the Ministry of the Environment, especially office of Drainage Services to synergize and ensure that when a contract is awarded it is delivered in time with quality job, then we can say we are getting it right,” he said.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye revealed that her ministry inherited some projects from the last administration and that they also started new ones.
Adeyoye said that, when a contract is given out, the contractor must meet some criteria before money is released for the project, adding that where a contractor has been given money and they are not working, the issue would be addressed immediately.
She stated that the ministry ensures that things are done well so that tax payers’ money could be judiciously utilised, while infrastructure provision is guaranteed.
“When we came on board, 71% of the projects in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure were road projects, while 21% were building projects.
“We met 105 projects, while we had N100 billion funds for projects and we had 36 additional projects making 141.
“We completed projects in Ojokoro, Shomolu and other places. We have completed several projects so far.
“We have done some others in the last three months, very soon three out of four projecrs in Ikoyi would be ready and the road project in Ijede would be completed.
“We completed the Pen Cinema Bridge, we have the Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway, which is going on well.
“We have had testimonies about roads that were abandoned for 43 years but have been completed by our government. People must believe in this government that when we say something we fulfill our promises,” she said.
Contractors that appeared before the committee and some representatives of the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure during the session included Regent Construction Company, Retro Construction Company, Arab Contractors and Craneburg Construction Company.