Dredging Project: Mende residents urge Contractor to return to site

Following the abandoned dredging project for the channelization of the Ikorodu-Mende ferry route, residents of Mende in Lagos State have called on the contractor handling the project to return to the site.

Speaking with journalists, the concerned residents alleged that dredging equipment had been abandoned and that engineers were no longer present on site.

They urged Merited Construction Limited, the company, awarded the project, to resume work without further delay.

“Since December last year 2023 to date, they have not performed to the expectations of the public”, they alleged.

The residents had previously pleaded with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to fulfill his electoral promise to provide water transportation facilities and improve channelization projects in the area.

They expressed anticipation for the governor to commence work on the waterways and pledged their support once the project began.

Additionally, they assured Governor Sanwo-Olu that they would actively publicize the project once work is underway.

It was gathered that the dredger brought to the site is not capable of handling the job, leading residents to question the government’s commitment to the project.

“Our close observation shows that they are not doing anything at the site, but we are watching and monitoring the situation”, the residents said.

The residents queried the competence of the Technical Director that recommended the Contractor for such a sensitive project.

According to the residents, the Technical Director who brought the incompetent contractor and recommended same for the award is Engr Sobande. The Permanent Secretary of Waterfront, Mr. Gbajumo did not follow due process before endorsing the letter of award. Engr Sobande delivered the site to the contractor in December, 2023 and since then have not demonstrated any sense of commitment towards the successful execution of the project.

They expressed fears that poor implementation of channelization could exacerbate environmental problems and urged the government to prioritize these projects to improve water transportation and prevent further suffering. Residents also called for regular supervision from the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure to ensure efficient project completion.

A community leader in Mende urged civil society platforms advocating for good governance to support the prioritization of channelization projects to enhance Lagos State’s water transportation system.

“We haven’t asked for much. Governor Sanwo-Olu promised to dredge the waterways in our area and make water transportation accessible and affordable. It’s disheartening that the government usually forgets that the masses need basic amenities,” a statement from the residents read.

The residents urged the government to ensure that the work is done, urging the Commissioner should ensure that Permanent Secretary and Technical Director enforce compliance.

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