REP. Babatunde Hunpe, on Wednesday advised youths in Badagry area of Lagos State to shelve their planned protest over the deplorable conditions of Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
Hunpe, representing Badagry Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry that every arrangement had been made to ensure the return of the contractor to site.
NAN reports that a group of youths in Badagry, a Coastal Town in Lagos State, had planned to stage protest over the deplorable state of Badagry-Mile 2 Expressway on Independent Day.
Hunpe urged residents of the coastal town to trust in him, adding that reconstruction works on the international road would soon start.
“I want to appeal to my constituent members to still have that trust in me; I cannot go to the lower house and be sleeping.
“Your problem is my problem, your joy is also my joy. I’m aware of what you are passing through daily on Badagry-Mile 2 Expressway, because I also ply the road.
“I agreed with the youth that we should not be relegated to the background, because the road leads to other ECOWAS countries.
“But, I want to assure you that from the information I received from a reliable source, money will soon be given to the contractor and he will soon return to site.
“I want to appeal to you, especially youths in our town to calm down, because we still have good days ahead,” Hunpe said.
The lawmaker said that he could not blame the residents for planning the protest on the deplorable state of the road because all his efforts on the expressway had not materialised.
“Whatever efforts anyone is making, if there is no results, you cannot prove that you are doing anything until people see what you are doing before they know you have done something.
“But, I want to say categorically that a lot of efforts on my side have been put into the reconstruction of this road.
“I have raised the issue at the floor of the house where I pointed out that the contracts have been awarded and the contractors are there, but they are working at a snail, very slow speed.
“It is wrong for my people to say I have not discussed the issue at the floor of the house.
“I’m always in touch with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and some of my efforts can be seen, because palliative works had been done twice on the road.
“It is just that when there is heavy downpour, the road will go back to deplorable state again,” he said.
On the controversy over the amount allocated in the 2020 budget, Hunpe said that no other members of the House of Representatives understand what was happening in his constituency than himself.
“One cannot understand what is happening in my constituency than myself. I have the evidences before I say it.
“N1.63 billion was budgeted for the expressway, but when Rep. Bala Sani, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Service and Establishment, who was on oversight visit to ASCON was talking about N280 million was allocated to Gbaji-Apa-Owode road construction.
“The Ministry of Works and Housing is constructing two major projects in Badagry.
“It is Gbaji that that amount was allocated for, not Badagry Expressway, but the Chairman thought so far the money is meant for the road in Badagry.
“I’m happy the members of House of Representatives were here themselves and they have seen the deplorable state of the road,” he said.
– Sept. 29, 2020 @ 18:05 GMT