Governors of the South-West on Thursday met behind closed doors with President Goodluck Jonathan on the state of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway among other urgent areas of intervention.
The meeting was attended by governors Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun); Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo); Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), with only the Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola the only absentee.
Addressing the media after the meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Ekiti State Governor, Fayemi said the governors used the opportunity of the meeting to call the President’s attention to the deplorable state of Federal Government roads in the South-West.
He said special mention was made of the state of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway because of its importance to the economy of the country.
“We were invited by Mr. President for discussions on areas of mutual interest: infrastructure, roads, rail, transport particularly. It was a very positive discussion, we highlighted to Mr. President the poor state of the road infrastructure in the South-West, particularly federal roads and Mr. President agreed with us on the importance of doing something quickly about this, he said.
Speaking further, he said: “All of our people will have a sense of belonging, the truth of the matter is that roads are very important to all Nigerians, not just people in the South-West. Ordinary people, citizens of Nigeria don’t make a distinction between federal and state roads, they just want roads that are motorable, decent and that will enable them have secure and safe travel in the cause of their journey back and forth.
“And when you look at particularly the Lagos Ibadan-Expressway and the Benin-Ore-Shagamu roads not to mention all the small roads that we have around the zone, the Lagos Ibadan Expressway is the number one arterial road out of Lagos to all parts of the country.
“It affects the East, North, West and everybody suffers from the continuing state of dilapidation of that road. Mr. President acknowledges our concern and he has agreed to work with us in the partnership to address the fundamental disconnection that have affected the state of the road.”
On his part, Ogun State Governor, Amosun restated his earlier call that the concessioning of the road to Wale Babalakin’s firm should be revoked.
“My position (for the revocation of the concession) still stands and I believe that something needs to be done to immediately fix the road and of course we have met with Mr. President and of course it gladdens our hearts that Mr. President identifies with us and not just me alone even though most of the roads lies within Ogun State.”