GRAs in most Nigerian cities are the exclusive preserve of the rich and top government functionaries. In the past, they represented beauty and affluence with well designed road networks and drainage systems. Things like safety, orderliness, adherence to town planning and designs were some of the attractions that stood GRAs out.
But as with many things Nigerian, this was then and this is now, as some GRAs in the country now bear semblance of ‘glorified’ slums with distorted town planning, blocked drainage systems, dilapidated roads, increased and uncontrolled incursion of commercial activities, total absence of streetlights and security among others.
Although the Ikeja GRA has long slipped into this abysmal level, the state government is, however, taking steps to fix some of its deplorable streets in an attempt to improve the environment and give it a facelift. CityFile checks showed that the state has awarded contracts for the rehabilitation/upgrading of some roads within the GRA.
Among the roads are Joel Ogunaike and Isaac John Streets. Joel Ogunaike—a strategic road in the GRA, spans between Bank Anthony Way and Oba Akinjobi, playing host to several businesses and event centres, while Isaac John, another popular street, connects Adekunle Fajuyi Way and other access roads within the GRA.
Brief on the road rehabilitation obtained by CityFile indicates that both contracts awarded to Plycon (Nig) Limited in March 2012, were scheduled to be completed this January 2013.
However, a visit last Friday to Joel Ogunaike, cast doubts on the possibility of meeting up with this completion date.
An engineer in Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Department of the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure told CityFile that the contract on Isaac John would see the street upgraded in sections to a two-lane single carriageway. Section I which is 1.0km (length) is between Joel Ogunaike and Sobo Arobiodu Street junction, while section II, 0.65km, spans between Sobo Arobiodu Street and Adekunle Fajuyi Way junction.
The contract entails site clearing, demolition of structures, relocation of services, scarification, drainage and earth works, provision of 150mm thick crushed stone base, provision of 60mm asphalt binder course and 40mm asphalt wearing course, installation of streetlight, as well as provision of walkway, service duct, fire hydrant and lane marking.
On Joel Ogunaike, the contractor is expected to upgrade the street to a two-lane single carriageway of 10.0m wide. Similar services being provided on Isaac John including streetlights, walkway and fire hydrant are to be provided.
An assistant director in the Ministry of Works, said the road rehabilitation would check flood, further improve standard of living of the residents, and improve traffic flow resulting in shorter travel time and impact positively on the value of property within the area.