Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday approved the extension of ongoing Agric-Ishawo road project to Arepo in Ogun State, saying the development became imperative in view of the determination to rev up the economic integration of South Western States.
Speaking while embarking on an extensive inspection of major ongoing projects in Ikorodu which lasted till late in the evening, Ambode said the projects would be delivered as part of efforts to make the sub-urban areas in the State economically viable and livable, thereby making life comfortable for residents and boosting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.
Addressing scores of residents of Owutu and Ishawo who had trooped out to receive him, the Governor urged them to exercise patience and understanding with the projects, assuring that more dividends of democracy would be spread to the axis.
He said: “From Owutu Junction to the boundary of Lagos State in Ishawo is 7.5km and we will finish this project between March and April next year. Even before we finish this project, the businesses here have started improving and the value of landed properties have gone up.
“Now, the Chairman of this Local Government has just spoken to us and we have also agreed that in order for us to improve on the economic integration of South Western States, we will extend from Lagos State boundary to Arepo in Ogun State and we will do 5.5km to join the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.”
The Governor, who embarked on the tour with top government functionaries, said as government was doing road projects to open up the axis, other areas of the State would also benefit, thereby improving commerce and reducing travel time.
“The same thing as we are doing it in Ikorodu, the Lagos-Epe road also will be joined to the Lagos State boundary in Mojoda with the Ijebu Ode axis to link the Ijebu Ode-Ore Road.
“We are going to do the same thing and make sure that the road we are doing in the Mile 2-Okokomaiko Expressway, we commence the next phase that goes from Okokomaiko to Seme Border. So in that wise, we would have connected Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe with all the neighbouring States and we will improve the economy of Lagos and make sure that all our people that are living in the sub-urban areas are able to live comfortably well in those places and the economy in those areas also improve.
“I just want to appeal to our people to exercise patience as we do this. We are doing it for you. We know that you want more than roads, we are bringing shopping mall to Ikorodu; we are bringing cinema; we are bringing arts theatre and we are also bringing recreational park,” Ambode said.
While inspecting progress of work on the 32 Metric Tonnes Rice Mill and Light Industrial Park in Imota, which would accommodate those to be relocated from Sabo Industrial Park, the Governor expressed satisfaction with level of work, saying the Rice Mill was another fulfillment of promise to produce rice locally on a large scale.
“We think that we are on the right course. People would recall that we used to have a 2.5 Metric Tonnes per hour rice mill in this particular site. We have removed that to pave way for the new 32 Metric Tonnes per hour rice mill and as we can all see since the last time we were here that there has been a lot of progress being made by the contractor and also the consultant.
“We can see that this is a huge task for us to fulfill our promise that we would be producing our own Lake Rice by ourselves and I think I am impressed by the level of work I have seen and we should be able to start production in this rice mill in the first quarter of 2019.
“In addition to that, this Imota Light Industrial Park is to replace the Sabo Light Industrial Park that we are closing down. We have decided to move the Light Industrial Park into Imota here to give the economic hub that we want to give Imota the right picture and also turn part of the closed Sabo Industrial Park into our Tech hub for us to be able to integrate the new acquisition of land that we have in Sabo and turn that axis into the new Tech hub for our younger ones so that we can use that area as our own new Silicon Valley,” he said.
He said the Rice Mill and other projects going on in the axis such as the new Mile 12 Market in Imota and Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road which would be extended to Gberigbe and environs, would further contribute to positively change the economic landscape of the axis.
“We are on the right course and that also is ongoing. We think with the provision of this industrial park and this rice mill and then the Commodity Market that is coming to Imota in addition to the major road projects that are ongoing in Ikorodu like the one we just visited which is the Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road that will also link Owu Elepe all the way down to the junction of this Imota Road and also extend in another few months once we get our Asphalt Plant back on track to Gberigbe, the economic landscape of this axis will be changed positively.
“What we are trying to send as a message here is that every nook and cranny of Lagos should become economically viable and also economically livable because people should be able to stay where they are and actually earn their own living and income in a very comfortable way and that is the whole essence of this and overall we will be able to grow our GDP and allow more people to enjoy dividends of democracy and also pay their taxes, perform their civic obligations and in a complete circle, that same money gotten from the taxes would be used to continue to renew infrastructure and allow more people to live a comfortable life.
“That is what Lagos wants to do; that is what we are committed to and that is the direction we are going,” the Governor said.
Chairman of Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Princess Jumoke Jumbo commended Ambode for his commitment to the development of the Ikorodu.
“On behalf of the people of Ikorodu West LCDA, we just want to appreciate our Governor for your good gesture and the love you have for us in Ikorodu as a whole. Our people really appreciate you most especially for this road because it is already boosting the economy of our area and just yesterday, the wife of the Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode came to give our children school sandals and socks.
“We thank God for you coming from Lagos every time to Ikorodu to do one projects and the other. All my people are interested in you coming back. Governor Ambode is already endorsed for second term and we pray you will come back to do more for us,” Jumbo said.