Pains Agbara residents go through

• Bad roads, insecurity inflict hardship on Ogun estate residents

By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor

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AGBARA Industrial Estate is a fast-growing town booming with property business and this is spearheaded by the Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation (OPIC). The anticipated boom is not unconnected with the massive Lagos-Badagry road project embarked on by the Lagos State government.

Until recently, landed property was at a  “give away” price, but with ongoing road project coupled with the congestion in Lagos, more property investors are settling there for real business, with at least 30 estates along the axis at the moment commencing aggressive marketing to would-be investors.

Besides, Agbara is home to a number of manufacturing companies. The location and accessibility of Agbara Estate makes it a strategic place to site an industry, since raw materials and finished goods can be easily transported to and from the factories.

These include Beta Glass Nigeria Plc, Vitamalt, Pharma Deko, Nestle, Lotus Plastics, Reckitt Benckiser, DIL/Maltex, Evans Medical, Unilever, Colodense, GlaxoSmithkline, Cometstar Cables, and most recently, Procter and Gamble, which is constructing the largest of its plants in West Africa.

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Agbara Estate, a model integrated town development on 454.1 hectares of land, is being managed by AE Property Services Limited, a subsidiary of Lawsons Corporation Nigeria Limited.

Sadly, residents of this sprawling industrial complex are burdened by infrastructural deficiencies which include bad roads, absence of fire-fighting station, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and industrial waste, ill-equipped Agbara sewage treatment plant and lingering legal tussle between the Estate Management and the village community.

The biggest concern to private and corporate residents of the estate is the deplorable state of the road leading into the estate and connecting the inner-city roads from the Lagos-Badagry expressway.

The dreaded T-junction has now been classified the zone of death because of the increasing activities of theft and car snatching at the bad spots.

Chairman of the Residents Association, Prof. Tunde Fatunde, painting a graphic depiction of the plight of road users in the area, said: “The entrance into the estate is a death zone, especially any time after 6pm.”

“They kidnap people and snatch cars at the bad spot regularly, because no matter how good your vehicle is, you are forced to slow down and this immediately makes you a target of attack. Before you know it, an okada rider is pointing a gun at your face and you can’t run because of the situation of the road.”

ImageAbayomi Tella, former chairman Ado-Odo Ota Local Council of Ogun State

Agbara Estate, a model integrated town development on 454.1 hectares of land, is being managed by AE Property Services Limited, a subsidiary of Lawsons Corporation Nigeria Limited.

Sadly, residents of this sprawling industrial complex are burdened by infrastructural deficiencies which include bad roads, absence of fire-fighting station, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and industrial waste, ill-equipped Agbara sewage treatment plant and lingering legal tussle between the Estate Management and the village community.

The biggest concern to private and corporate residents of the estate is the deplorable state of the road leading into the estate and connecting the inner-city roads from the Lagos-Badagry expressway.

The dreaded T-junction has now been classified the zone of death because of the increasing activities of theft and car snatching at the bad spots.

Chairman of the Residents Association, Prof. Tunde Fatunde, painting a graphic depiction of the plight of road users in the area, said: “The entrance into the estate is a death zone, especially any time after 6pm.”

“They kidnap people and snatch cars at the bad spot regularly, because no matter how good your vehicle is, you are forced to slow down and this immediately makes you a target of attack. Before you know it, an okada rider is pointing a gun at your face and you can’t run because of the situation of the road.”

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Tella added that during his time in office, he had attempted to tar the road, but was prevented by the estate management firm, which insisted it was a private road. “They even went ahead to introduce tolling on the road, which they collected for nine good years until the youths of the community rose against them.”

“I am one of the people that took them to court to cede back the road to government so it caould  be repaired. I do hear that they collected money from industrialists in the area to tar the road, but nothing has been done to alleviate the pains of residents.”

When contacted, officials of the management firm refused  to speak to The Guardian, as they insisted that the issues raised by residents are private not public matters, since Agbara is a private estate.

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