LEKKI/EPE EXPRESSWAY: NOLLYWOOD ACTOR, NANS, OTHERS BACK FASHOLA
Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos state has received commendation for the concesioning of Lekki/Epe Expressway, described as a real step towards building a true mega city. The commendation came from Nollywood actor, Mr. Ayo Badmus, South West (Zone D) Secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Eniola Opeyemi, and an activist, Razaq Olooko-Oba.
The trio, in a chat with journalists in Lagos, described as 'subjective and sheer political opportunism,' the continuous efforts of 'some misled people of the state' to discredit the project.
mr. Badmus, who advised that people should rather be encouraged and not incited against the government over the project pointed out that 'the project is a laudable phenomenon at returning the city to the Lagos of our dream where you can go about your business 24 hours a day unmolested.'
according to Opeyemi, ithere was nothing unusual or criminal about the arrangement and dismissed as untrue, claims of massive rip off by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
'We must know that for every development, there must be some sacrifice by the people wanting to enjoy it. The London Bridge and other phenomenal projects that we refer to came with sacrifices by the people enjoying them today,' Opeyemi reminded.
He stated further that 'We have clamoured for development throughout our life and now that Fashola is giving us a dose of it, we think we should support him.'
Olooko-Oba, who is the Secretary of Oodua Self Determination Group (COSEG), threw more light on the intended operation of the handlers of the project, explaining that it was the Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) arrangement that was obtainable the world over.
'For us, we know that BOT arrangement is only meant for the company to realise its money for a duration stated in the contract. So, if you look at it, Lagosians are the major beneficiaries because LCC will have to transfer the project to them.
'Unlike what the PDP critics are saying, what we know of this project is that residents of the area are to enjoy global fee, which is that you only pay these tolls only once a day, unlike other business people who throng the roads. So, the issue of rip off does not arise,' the youthful activist explained.
While urging the PDP to cease fire in their continued propaganda against the project, Oloko-Oba wondered, 'why have the same PDP chieftains never criticised the Federal Government on the concessioning of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway to the Bi-Courtney company. when you look at their criticism from this angle, you see that something does not add up,' he said.
The COSEG scribe said the PDP was merely criticising the project to score cheap political points ahead of the 2011 poll admonished all patriotic people of Lagos State to appreciate the developmental strides of the state government appeling that whatever grudge they had against the project should be subjected to meaningful dialogue.