While the breakdown of the total cost remains unknown to the public, the Lagos State Government in 2018 flagged off the construction of 181 roads spread across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.
Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya said in a press statement February 2018 that the construction of the “181 Council Roads” was in fulfilment of the promise by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to open up more inner roads across the state.
According to the Commissioner, “the roads will be done in phases. The first phase consists of 57 roads cutting across the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas.” Overall, the project was budgeted for 18.5 billion Naira (N18,545,657,940.00).
As a fact check, Tracka deployed two Field Officers to monitor, very closely, the progress of the projects vis-à-vis budget implementation and quality delivery. Given the population and rising number of industries in Lagos, the government’s effort to repair roads, reduce mishaps and ease traffic is duly commendable.
However, Tracka said, it is imperative to note that the financial breakdown of the projects remains secret, noting that the only information in the public space is the gross amount allocated for the roads and the part payment by the state government. “As such, the quest for transparency and accountability is fiercely strangled by the government.
“Out of 175 roads tracked by our team, only 54 are completed; 38 are ongoing while 8 bear unspecified locations, all at the time of our last visit in February 2019. Tracka confidently reports that a higher number of the roads (74) are yet to be constructed. More surprisingly, a number of roads that have been completed in the 114 Roads in 2016 are recaptured in the new project (e.g. Community Road in Alimosho LGA). Aside from abandoned roads, some projects have been left off worse than they actually were before the intervention, making life harder for commuters and members of the community. A typical case is Ayilara street in Surulere LGA.
“Finally, we observed some glitches in the construction of certain routes ranging from poor quality to contractors’ disappearance from sites to lack of proper implementation. In specific terms, the use of substandard materials like Asphalt and Bitumen, which often lead to the short lifespan of roads, is also recorded”, it added.