By Tunde Abatan
Baring any last minute change of mind, the coordinators and residents of Matogbun/Oke-Aro axis in the Lagos /Ogun states’ border, will as from Monday, July 22, 2019, start paying tolls on the now improved road.
The road, which has been under repair for the past three weeks have breath a dose of fresh air into he life of motorists as the organisers have sunk in over two million naira to make the road motorable from the daily voluntary donations by road users.
However, even as the exited community members are anxious about sustaining the progress attained in fixing the road, the activities of the Pig farmers in the Lagos State piggery farm situated along the road have constituted a nuisance to the road repair works.
The pig farmers whose leadership is led by one Mr. Aro, is accused of dumping dead pigs into the drainage been cleared along the road. An allegation he is yet to respond to despite Newdawn’s enquiry.
This attitude according to the coordinator of the road repair project, Olufemi Tanimowo, a school proprietor in the area, have constituted a nuisance to the repair works initiated by the Araromi/Oke-Odo and Matogbun area community development association.
The action of the pig farmers operating under the umbrella of the Federal government backed, Lagos State NDE, Adiyan Pig Village, is even against their own rule on maintenance of the pig farm whose land was leased from Ogun State.
When Newdawn make overtures to their coordinator,he did not respond to our text message and calls.
The decision of the coordinators to start collecting tolls from road users according to Tanimowo, is to sustain the current level of work to continue the maintenance, which so far have been made possible by volunteer donors and workers who have in the past three weeks donated their resources and time to make the project a reality.
He said that since it is not feasible to continue asking for dononations, it is imperative to start collecting tolls so as to enable other road users make their daily contributions to keep the road in good condition pending when the state government would intervene to carry out reconstruction of the road now plied daily by thousands of road users in and out of the area, which is a big border town between Ogun and Lagos states.
Hence, from Monday July 22,2019, regular toll collection will begin from Monday to Saturday and will be manned by volunteers who will supervise the hired toll collectors.
While the few buses and many cars plying the road will pay tolls, okada riders daily tolls will be collected by their agent for onward delivery to the operators of the road repair project.
The breakdown of the tolls is as follows:
Cars/ Jeep N100
The tolls are to be collected once daily between 4.30 am -4.30pm with the paid collectors working on two shifts supervised by community volunteers who will not receive any monetary compensation.
Tanimowo appeal for cooperation and support from the road users to support the new arrangement, which will be between Monday to Saturday and leave Sunday as toll free day .
He promised road users that the coordinators will apply the same core principles of TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY and ALL INCLUSIVENESS on the project adding that the new toll regime will enable the team to embark on more comprehensive repair works considering the daily usage of the road so as to be much faster as more funds become available.
ALSO READ: Breaking: Vacate Southern Nigeria Now – NEF orders Fulani herdsmen
The road repair is made up of dredging and construction / opening up of blocked drainage and removal of potholes /grading of the main road in the two kilometre stretch road, which has suffered neglect for the past sixteen years.
It is ironical that the road also leads to the only aerodrome in Lagos axis been constructed over three decades ago and being maintained by the National Airport Maintenance Agency (NAMA).
The agencies only presence on the road is occasional shuttles by the agency’s personnel to the aerodrome premises, which in itself is overgrown with weeds due to abandonment.