Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday declared that his ministry was not in any way frustrating Lagos State Government with respect to the reconstruction of the Lagos International Airport Road from Oshodi.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, on Wednesday said the Federal Ministry of Works was frustrating efforts by his government to reconstruct the road.
But Fashola stated that his ministry had approved several requests made by the state government, adding that the governor failed to acknowledge that he spoke with the minister who explained ongoing processes to him.
The minister also stated that the state government had refused to provide land for the National Housing Programme.
He said it was important for his ministry to respond in order to ensure that members of the public were not misled.
Fashola, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello, stated that the allegations of lack of cooperation from the ministry and frustration of the state government’s development initiatives were not true.
In a statement issued Fashola’s aide, the former Lagos State governor said, “In 2016, the minister approved the use of the Federal Ministry of Works yard at Oworonsoki for Lagos State Government to create a lay-by to ease traffic.
“The minister also approved that Lagos State be granted the right to manage the street lighting on the Third Mainland Bridge to support the security initiatives of the state, a request which the previous Federal Government administration had denied the Lagos State Government for years.”
The statement further noted that during the same year, Fashola had supported the approval of the World Bank loan of $200m to Lagos, adding that the previous administration had denied Lagos this request.
It added, “As far as International Airport Road, which is currently the ground for alleged ‘frustration’ is concerned, the correct position is that the Lagos State Government presented a request for four roads that it would wish to take over.
“This is consistent with the position being canvassed by the minister for states that are interested to apply to take over roads that are within their states. The ministry has presented the memorandum conveying the request of the Lagos State Government to the Federal Executive Council as was done with a similar request by the Kaduna State Government in 2016.”
It stated that due to the fact that two of the roads also connect Ogun State, FEC could not reach an immediate decision on them because it requested the input of the other state government affected.
On the Presidential Lodge and statements against the works ministry by Ambode, the FMPWH stated that as far as the lodge was concerned, it was under the management of the Presidency and not the ministry.
It said, “After the approval by Mr. President that the Presidential Lodge be handed over to the state government, there was a directive to the ministry to work out the modalities for handing over. The ministry has prepared a vesting instrument to convey the transfer and all that is needed is a survey plan. The Presidential Lodge is a high security location and officials of the ministry also require security clearance to enter in order to do any work. Access to the lodge is not under the control of the ministry.”
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