• Sunday, March 03, 2024
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Fourth Mainland Bridge suffers setback as investors pull out

A fresh journey towards the realisation of the long anticipated Fourth Mainland Bridge is starting, as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Lagos entered into with a private partner to build the bridge has been terminated.

The MoU was signed between the state government and a consortium of investors, among which are the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Visible Assets Limited and Access Bank Plc. The terminated MoU would have allowed the investors a concession period of 40 years upon the completion of the bridge.

Consequently, the government is looking to a fresh bid by investors interested in the construction of the 38 kilometre bridge and its road component for which the cost was estimated at N844 billion.

The government admitted on Monday, that it was expecting proposals from investors from the United States of America and Britain for the project. The state government in the 2017 had provided for N141.692 billion to address the infrastructure part, which is to be spent on the preliminary work on the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge, among other infrastructural projects, some of which had been delivered, including the Abule-Egba and Ajah flyovers.

 Adebowale Akinsanya, Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront and Infrastructure Development, who also oversees affairs at the Ministry of Works, confirmed the termination of the MoU, hinging the decision on what he called long delay on the part of private partners in commencing the construction work.

 “The reason why we terminated the contract of former investors was mainly due to slow pace of work. We are now looking at many investors, though interest is very high. We have investors from South Korea, Europe, and America and a few others. What we are doing now, is vetting the proposals, we don’t want to waste any further time. So work is in progress on the Fourth Mainland Bridge.

 Akinsanya said the after the vetting processes, the right investors would be announced, even as he pleaded for patience and understanding.

 The proposed alignment of the bridge takes off at Abraham Adesanya Road in Ajah, passes through the Lagoon shoreline linking Baiyeku, along the estuaries, further running through Igbogbo River Basin Authority and crossing Ikorodu. It then crosses the Itoikin road and the Ikorodu-Sagamu road to connect Isawo, inward Lagos Ibadan Expressway at Ojodu Berger.

 The idea of the bridge was mooted some 18 years ago, during the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with the state over the years unable to get it off the ground. The first serious attempt at making it a reality was the agreement signed with the private investors by the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration.

JOSSHUA BASSEY