by Olutayo Irantiola
Its few weeks to the Governorship Elections across various states in the country. Interestingly, the electioneering calendar of the country have been altered as some governors have been sworn-in, for instance Osun, Ekiti, Ondo States are free from the polls at the moment. Also, some various governors that are completing their first terms and seeking for reelection while some are rotating out of office. As characterized of Nigerian politics, some of these governors are trying to find their ways to the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly.
However, it has been noted across all states that there are various uncompleted projects that lace the country. It is worthy of note that many of these states, asides Lagos, are owing people large sum of salaries. This has in turn crippled many families, taken many children out of school, led to various mental illnesses and in fact, some breadwinners have committed suicide.
In the course of research, we found out that Lagos State has many uncompleted projects at various locations. One of the respondent from Ikorodu, Olugbenga Irantiola said that the road from Agric to Isawo is an uncompleted project. He noted that despite the extent of destruction when the project was about to be flagged off, people resident in the area are now subjected to respiratory issues because of the extent of the dust in the area. Another respondent, Moromoke Lawal, said the traffic gridlock for those living around Iyana-Ipaja has tripled with the uncompleted road from Oshodi towards Sango-Otta. To her, it seems like an unending nightmare.
Also in Lagos, another respondent, Tope Adetunji, said, the train track around Fagba is under construction, although she cannot categorically mention if it is a Federal road or State road but it is a challenge accessing that area without gridlock. As for a place like Agege, the Pen Cinema Flyover bridge is already a menace, according to Valentina Dosunmu, the travail of the people of this neighbourhood has skyrocketed since the commencement of the project and it’s a pain in the ass now that it has been abandoned. For Victor Chiemeka, the Badagry expressway has been a great menace, he noted that the accident that happened recently was uncalled for if the road was in good shape. In his words, “Badagry Expressway has become a deathtrap, the light rail project is uncompleted and the international road has become the shortest route to the cemetery.”
In Oyo State, there are many abandoned projects littering the infrastructural space of the state. In fact, it was noted that there are some approved projects that the state government has not invested a dim in. According to Larry Oladoja, the administration of Governor Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi approved the establishment of the Oyo State College of Health Technology, Okeho campus but till date the government has not commenced any construction at either the temporary or the permanent site of the institution. Also, the Governor sent a high-power delegation led by the Commissioner of Water Resources and the General Manager of the Oyo State Water Corporation to access the abandoned Okeho Dam, till date, there has been no feedback from the delegation.
Another set of respondents from Oyo State, Peter Akee, said that Agbowo Shopping Complex has been closed for about two years in the name of reconstruction. The only construction that has been visible since the closure of the massive edifice has been the perimeter barricade. The complex was a major source of livelihood for hundreds of thousands and the strategic location brought enormous patronage for the university community and other suburbs in the city. Another respondent from the Ibadan metropolis, Joshua Victor added the Gbagi-Jagun and Iwo Road- Idi Ape roads are yet to be completed. Also, Ewekeye Olaoluwa, noted that the main road connecting Oyo North region of the state, typically called Oke-Ogun from Moniya to Iseyin is still uncompleted and the administration is winding down. In the prayer of Praise Ojetunde, one of the respondents, ‘we are desirous of a new leadership with renewed vision and vigour that will carry Oyo State to an enviable height and everyone will be proud of.’
A quick glaze into Ogun State shows that there are various uncompleted infrastructural projects. A resident of Alagbole, a neighbouring suburb to Lagos but in Ogun State, Femi Ojo, noted that there are a lot of ambitious projects that the administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun embarked upon especially for those resident close to Lagos. However, at the close of the second term, these projects are yet to be completed. Some of the uncompleted projects include the uncompleted roads and bridges around Alagbole, Akute, Ajumon, Lambe, Mowe, Ofada. Others are Ilo-Awela road, the Ijebu Igbo bridge, the Kuto bridge, the MITROS Rice Project, Ilisan- Ago Iwoye road. In the area of education, only 3 models schools is completed out of the earmarked 20 schools to be built in all the local government areas of the state.
Taking a short gaze at the North Central of Nigeria, Kwara State also has its own set of uncompleted projects. According to Olabanji Falokun, these projects are spread all over the metropolis of Ilorin, the state capital. Some of these projects include the Geri Alimi tunnel; water reticulation and Light Up Kwara amongst others are not yet completed less than a month to election.
In summation, the challenge of the electorate is that would these projects be completed if another person is elected to lead these states from either May 29 or June 12 2019. Many of the current administration have taken huge debts for these uncompleted projects and many of these abandoned projects have been a recurring decimal in the last 20 years when democracy was restored to Nigeria. There is a need to come up with a process of continuing uncompleted projects regardless of the party that wins because the civil servants in charge of monitoring the coffers of the state do not leave office like politicians. We need a nation wherein the interest of the people is utmost in the heart of the ruling class.