by Usman Alabi
It was not a pleasant experience tracking these five mega projects. We were not prepared for the consequence of embarking on such a task. Perhaps our definition of abandoned projects does not include what we were about to see.
From Sango Ota in Ogun state, we took a bus going to Ijoko Ogba Iyo to track a project we were told had been abandoned since 2014, eventually we ended up tracking a network of five projects in five different localities, each of these projects is capable of improving the economy of the locality it was situated, all these projects are the same, all were supposed to take two years to complete, and our findings revealed that they were started simultaneously at the same time.
These five mega flyovers are in Ijoko Ogba Iyo, Agbado, Odo Lambe, Akute and Alagbole, all in Ogun State. They are projects embarked upon by the Ogun state government, and were strategically located in these five communities to ease traffic from Lagos to metropolitan Ogun.
We were welcomed by a sea of red dry dust on our way to the first of the flyovers at Ijoko Ogba Iyo; the road leading to that area is unfinished, and abandoned. Residents and commuters living in the area said the road had been abandoned for more than two years. According to one of the residents, Blessing who once reside with her parents in the area: “The road has been abandoned for long, it is always very dusty during dry season and it is an eyesore during raining season, I don’t like coming here in the raining season because of the bad state of the road”.
The unfinished dusty Ijoko road connects the flyover bridge. The long flyover bridge is the only one out of all the other five that is at the advance stage of construction and nearing completion, but before us yesterday, it stood dead and impossible, like a project with no headway, of course that is exactly what it is, it has become abandoned, and according to commuters, it has been so for more than a year. Traders within the communities claimed that the project was started by the governor in his first tenure or term in office, and ever since he won election for second term in office, the project has not seen any improvement. People are prohibited from using the bridge in its present state, as what look like a security post could be seen on the flyover. It was in the process of tracking the first project and interviewing commuters that one of them told us that there are still five of such project in other communities within the state.
We then moved from Ijoko to Agbado where we have exactly the same structure though not in the advance stage that the first was, the giant concrete pillars have been erected and the shape of the flyover has been formed. But work has also stopped in that location. We discovered that the road leading from the first flyover also connects to the second one. It joins the other three, but the road is uncompleted and abandoned, completely in a state of disrepair. Below is the Agbado flyover:
Odo Lambe was our next point, the same structure also completely abandoned, One of our team members who was in that area sometimes ago claimed he saw the project three years ago when he paid his friend a visit three years back. The state of the Lambe road where the project is located indicates that the community is in dare need of that project, it is their major connection to the outside world, and it would in no time open them to various economic opportunities. But the flyover below would continue to remain in its present state until the government take action.
The fourth flyover at Akute still has a project signpost, which reads that the project would take 24 months, yet 24 months after, it is nothing but a sordid reality.
The last of the flyovers is located at Alagbole. Car tires could be seen parked at the front part of this particular flyover because of previous motor accidents, the road to the uncompleted flyover is sloppy and dangerous especially at Night, the Alagbole flyover is gradually turning into refuse dump site.
We spoke to the people in these communities, and most of them were no more enthusiastic about talking about these projects, because they have been doing so before now, yet the government had done nothing.
These projects are mega projects that would better the lives of the people resident in those communities. The state government owe the people an explanation on why the projects were abandoned.