Why Lagos, Ogun States Must Work Together Now
Nigeria News takes a look at the Lagos and Ogun States and why they should work together.
The various boundaries between Lagos and Ogun State are not visibly demarcated like the other Southwest States.
Especially in Ojodu and Isheri areas of the two States, a newcomer will definitely miss his way if he must follow the address given to him.
There are two big billboards at Berger Bus Stop that bid travellers with “Welcome and Goodbye” inscriptions to Lagos and Ogun State.
Both State governments lay claim to a portion of Isheri, Ojodu and Olowora. They station their traffic law enforcement agents under the bridge to apprehend offenders.
Former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode stopped the excesses of the Vehicle Inspector Officers, VIO who extorted motorists sometime ago but those in Ogun State are still on the road.
Many of the Lagos bound motorists from Mowe, Ibafo, Asese, Magboro in Ogun State who work in Lagos State still battle with the VIO who now hide around River Valley Estate towards Berger Bus Stop to apprehend traffic offenders.
These set of VIOs are from Ogun State, working on the road built by Lagos State, just by the estate towards Berger Bus Stop. They apprehend motorists and impound the vehicle in their office, located at Ojodu Abiodun in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State.
There are Ojodu Ikeja and Ojodu Abiodun communities. The former falls within Lagos State while the latter is in Ogun State. The visible difference between these two areas is that the roads on Ojodu Ikeja are well tarred but that of Ojodu Abiodun are dirty and rough.
Yet the tenants in these two communities suffer the same fate in the hands of their landlords. A tenant in Ojodu Abiodun where the roads are bad without street light pays as much as those in Ojodu Ikeja where the roads are tarred with street light.
There are also two Isheri communities, both on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The Isheri North is owned by Lagos while the other part of Isheri is owned by Ogun State.
The difference is very clear as it is in Ojodu. Ogun State Government has failed woefully in this area and many of its boundary towns.
Ironically, much of the Ogun State revenues come from these boundary towns where there are a few numbers of foreign firms. The Chinese and Korea investors have their companies along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway but pay taxes to Ogun State.
The population in Ogun State suburbs is growing daily as tenants who could not afford the rising cost of accommodation in Lagos now find solace in Mowe and Ibafo; Warewa and Magboro.
Investment in real estate development is high in this corridor. Sometime in 2013, the former Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun came up with home owners scheme promo in which residents in the boundary towns were asked to obtain forms at the cost of N5,000, pay another N10,000 with necessary documents, including the plans and surveys of their property to begin the process of Certificate of Occupancy.
The government generated billions of naira from this kangaroo scheme and up till today, only a few landlords have been able to complete the process.
These communities have suffered neglect from successive administrations of Ogun State even when Lagos government has extended its service to the place.
The Lagos Traffic Radio extends its service through the State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA as far as Ogere in Ogun State.
LASTMA collaborates with Ogun State, Traffic Compliance Agency, TRACE to ensure smooth traffic on the express and its adjacent roads.
The States need more collaborations and I think this is the time to bring life to the boundary towns.