Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday justified the decision of his administration to engage indigenous contractors for the construction of 114 inner roads simultaneously across the State, just as he disclosed that about N1trillion is needed yearly to address the deficit in road construction.
Governor Ambode, who spoke in Oshodi-Isolo at the ongoing inauguration of 114 roads constructed across the 20 Local Government Areas (LGs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), said indigenous contractors were engaged for the project not only to boost employment but also encourage the local construction industry to grow.
Speaking through the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson at the commissioning of Kalejaiye Street, the Governor assured residents that any mistake committed by the indigenous contractors in the course of the project would be addressed, adding that the construction of the inner roads was in response to the yearning of the people.
He said: "We have to encourage our indigenous contractors because whether we like it or not, that is the one of the ways to generate employment and when we engage them, there will be money in the circulation.
"We are challenging them to do their best and as government we don't want to shy away from mistakes. If they (indigenous contractors) make mistakes, we also try to correct and encourage them. We are learning, it is a learning process and with time, I believe they will get there," he said.
At the commissioning of Ogunyinka Street, also in Oshodi LG, Ambode who was represented by the Iyaloja General of Nigeria, Chief Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo also urged indigenous contractors to justify the confidence reposed in them.
In Odi Olowo/Ojuwoye LCDA, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Seye Oladejo and a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, said Nigerian can overcome the current recession if more local contractors are engaged for developmental projects to grow the economy just as the State Government did in the execution of the 114 road construction.
Two roads in the LCDA, Awoyejo Buraimoh and Akinola Aiyetoro streets in Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye LCDA were inaugurated by the Governor, who expressed optimism that if the roads are properly maintained, it would boost socio-economic activities and increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the council area.
Speaking at the commissioning of Balogun Oyero and Adebimpe roads in Ikosi-Isheri LCDA, Ambode said that the level of work done by the 89 indigenous contractors in the construction of the 114 roads was a direct and indirect way of creating jobs to residents.
The Governor was represented respectively by his Special Adviser on Urban Development, Mrs Yetunde Onabule and Mr. Olusola Esan, said the contractors were picked through a bidding process in line with International best practices.
He commended the contractors for delivering on these projects and demonstrating the capacity of the construction industry in the state.
Likewise at the handover of Hassan Odumeru street in Ikosi-Ejinrin LCDA, the Governor who was represented by a member of the House of Representatives, Hon Olawale Raji, said the use of indigenous contractors for the 114 roads was a direct and indirect way of creating jobs for Lagosians.
Hon Olusegun Olulade, a member of the House of Assembly, inaugurated Ajagbe Street on behalf of the Governor.
Also, at the inauguration of Karimu Opeloyeru Street in Apapa Iganmu LCDA, the Governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, said government will continue to invest on infrastructural and socio economic projects in other to stimulate the economy of the state.
Few metres away from Karimu Opeloyeru Street, Comrade Linus Okojie of the Human Service Project commissioned Amusu Street on behalf of the Governor.
He also appealed to the community leaders to ensure that the newly constructed road is maintained, urging the residents to make good use of the road having in mind appropriate maintenance culture.
In Alimosho LG, the Governor was represented at the handover of Oke/Alhaji Idowu Street by the Commissioner of Youth and Social Development, Pharm. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf.
In Ayobo Ipaja LCDA, the Governor said with the inauguration of Ajelanwa Baruwa and Megida-Alaja roads, 56 villages have been opened up for an enhanced economic opportunities noting that many hopes had been brightened by the initiative.
Ambode who spoke through a member of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Bisi Yusuf, said more than 20,000 youths in the Lagos West Senatorial District would be offered job opportunities in the area of fishery by the State Government.
In Ikoyi Obalende LCDA, Governor Ambode who inaugurated Ademola Road where he was represented by his Special Adviser on Primary Healthcare, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, said his administration would not neglect any community within the state.
Governor Ambode also inaugurated Ademola Olujobi, Ado Soba Road and Eko Akete Road in Amuwo Odofin LG, and was represented by Imam Shakiru Gafar of Lagos Central Mosque and HRM Oba Onijanikin of Ijanikin.
Similarly, the Governor also commissioned Osenatu Ahmed Crescent by his Special Adviser on Housing, Mrs. Aramide Giwanson.