July 12, 2024

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Ayobo/Agboyi Ketu Residents Lament Neglect By LASG; Call On Governor Sanwo Olu To Fulfill Dredging and Waterways Transportation Promises

3 min read

Some residents of Ayobo as well as well Agboyi-Ketu axis in Lagos have alleged the neglect of water transportation infrastructure in their areas in spite of the pledge by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to prioritise dredging and channelisation to enhance the movements and livelihoods of the people of the areas.

Residents of Ayobo / Agboyi-Ketu like other communities of similar terrain have, over the years, clamour for prioritisation of water transportation by LASG to ease their movements and to facilitate socio-economic activities.

In line with the expectations of residents, Governor Sanwo Olu during his electioneering campaigns promised to dredge waterways from Ijon, Ayobo to Mile 2 and as well open up the water channels that link Agboyi Ketu and Ikorodu axis of the state to enable boats navigate through these beds of waterways.

Residents are however lamenting that the promise by the governor has remained largely unfulfilled apparently as a result sabotage on account of selfish interest by individuals which the governor may not be fully aware.

Kamaldeen Gbadeyanka, a resident of one of the communities said that although LASG had completed roads leading to the jetty, there however nothing yet to demonstrate commitment to the dredging projects which is required to facilitate water transportation. It would be recalled that LASG recently completed the Ishefun road up to the modern Jetty terminal constructed at Ijon. Some residents however believe the dredging of waterways will enhance access to Ayobo and its environs.

More instructive however is that some residents are alleging diversion of funds released for dredging projects across the waterways in Lagos State. Diversion of funds for dredging is believed to have orchestrated through questionable appropriation by the Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA). Some of the concerned residents further alleged that while the dredging of Ilado-Ilashe-Odofin waterways by the government was prioritised to accommodate beach houses for the rich, dredging of more strategic channels in other suburbs has been neglected thereby denying the large population of Ayobo and Agboyi-Ketu of the opportunity of water transportation to ease heavy road traffic in the areas.

Residents are are displeased that the dredging of the waterways along Ayobo as well as Agboyi-Ketu axis which should have been a source of huge relief to teeming population has been neglected while government prioritise the dredging of 5 cowries-Lekki-Lagoon-Parkview/Banana Island which is already 20m deep and capable of taking bigger boats. Residents are therefore appealing to Governor Sanwo-Olu to prioritise the dredging of waterways that link Ayobo as well as Agboyi- Ketu to facilitate water transportation.

Some residents who pleaded anonymity attributed the neglect of the dredging of waterways along Ayobo as well as Agboyi-Ketu axis to corrupt top officials of the administration of Governor Sanwo Olu who allegedly diverted resources earmarked for clearing and expansion of waterways with the aims of complementing water transportation infrastructure in Lagos State.

Some concerned residents alleged that some of the ongoing dredging projects were awarded to proxies of leading members in the administration of Governor Sanwo-Olu who has achieved very little or no progress in spite of payments received for the contracts. Concerned residents further claimed that ongoing dredging and channelisation projects are being handled shoddily as a result of the incompetence of the contractors. Those awarded the dredging contracts are said to lack the requisite expertise and equipment to deliver on the contract in spite of the substantial public funds already committed to the projects.

Improvement of water transportation infrastructure is a potential catalyst for transforming economic activities across communities and neighbourhoods in Lagos State.

Unfortunately, for communities along the axis of Ayobo as well as Agboyi-Ketu, lack of dredging of waterways covered with mud and overgrown weeds hinder waterways navigation routes to other parts of Lagos State

Our investigations however revealed that under the leadership of Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu who was the Chairman of House Committee on Appropriation (now the House Committee Chairman on Waterfront Infrastructures), budgetary provisions for dredging and waterways infrastructure were arbitrarily diverted to other projects thereby sabotaging the effort of the government.

Concerned residents are therefore calling for the immediate intervention of Governor Sanwo Olu towards ensuring that resources are no longer diverted or wasted but to also ensure that only contractors with requisite competence as well as required expertise and equipment are awarded the dredging of waterways to facilitate rapid transformation of water infrastructure in Lagos State.

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