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Sanwo-olu and Lagos’ road to greatness

It is no longer news that Lagos is the fastest growing mega city in the world. It is currently expanding at about five percent a year. A recent study reveals that over 25,000 people, from across the world, move into Lagos on a daily basis. This is what makes Lagos a melting pot.

The presence of people from diverse walks of life is partly responsible for the prosperity of Lagos. Ironically, this has also brought huge pressure on the state as the sheer human population puts serious pressure on its infrastructure and resources.

Without a doubt, Lagos roads suffer significantly as a result of the city’s phenomenal growth in population. The sheer number of vehicles, of various categories, that ply Lagos roads on a daily basis is, perhaps, second to none in Africa. The pressure that these vehicles daily exert on roads across the state makes them easily susceptible to wearing out before long. This is why successive governments in the state spend quite a fortune on road rehabilitation and maintenance.

It is, however, not only the sheer size of Lagos that affects its infrastructure, the topography equally poses a major challenge to sustainable infrastructure in the state, especially roads. Many road projects are subject to massive soil replacements after a series of seismological tests that has enormous cost implications for the projects.

Other challenges of road maintenance in the state includes the lack of ownership of infrastructure that is, vandalization of road furniture and public utilities by indiscriminate dumping of refuse on roads and drainages, activities of roadside mechanics and car wash operators and axle overload on inner roads.

In our society, there is arguably no achievement that boosts a good assessment of a government than construction and rehabilitation of roads. It is in the light of this reality that the Sanwo-Olu administration has, in the last two years embarked on massive road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance across the state. For the administration, road construction/rehabilitation is a necessity.

Not many Nigerians would have failed to notice infrastructure regeneration in the state in the last two years. Infrastructure is a strategic economic growth driver. Its potentials are numerous; it serves as a catalyst for public development in the entire government agenda, such as transportation, healthcare delivery, education and food security. Infrastructure level affects the developmental ratings of a state.

During his inauguration, Mr. Governor promised to complete all inherited projects and also embark on new projects that will be the bedrock of the development Agenda tagged T.H.E.M.E.S. True to his promise, Lagos has continued to deliberately invest in infrastructure as the development driver of the state’s economy and the Greater Lagos vision, thereby providing job opportunities for hundreds of residents, as well as bringing succor to commuters in the state.

READ ALSO: Lagosians will commute by rail in two years – Sanwo-Olu

Tactfully, the administration has embarked on massive repair and rehabilitation of existing roads and construction of new road projects. The state’s helmsman, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, apparently does not subscribe to the pernicious practice of window-dressing state capitals, while leaving other parts of the state to rot.

In the last two years, Lagos has completed the construction of 51 road projects spread across the state and also has over 43 ongoing projects across the three senatorial districts. This is in addition to over 24 public building infrastructure that the government has provided for socio-economic growth.

Through the newly invigorated Lagos State Public Works Corporation, LSPWC, roads that were hitherto a nightmare to motorists had been rehabilitated. In the last two years, the Corporation has intervened on 632 roads, covering approximately 192km. Though it may not have reached everywhere, but the government cannot be accused of inactivity as far as road construction/rehabilitation is concerned.

Facts and evidence on ground are on the side of the government. Two years after assuming office, the fact sheet has revealed that the Sanwo-Olu administration is on track in bridging infrastructural deficit in the state.

A drive through the streets of Lagos will reveal that roads had been rehabilitated or construction work ongoing in so many locations. Thus far, the government has completed and commissioned strategic roads such as the Tedi-Muwo Road and Link Bridge, Lagos-Ogun boundary roads in Alimosho and Agbado-Oke–Odo, the 1.4 km dual carriage Pen-Cinema Bridge Agege and access roads and Oniru Network of roads among others.

It has also reconfigured 6 Junction/Roundabouts under our Traffic Management Intervention Plan (TMIP). This is in addition to completing the 13.68 kilometers Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT corridor. It has equally completed and commissioned 31 networks of roads in Ojokoro Local Council Development Area (LCDA). Over 350 inner roads have similarly been rehabilitated by the Public Work Corporation, while 90 palliatives and 261 sectional rehabilitations were done on vital roads across the state.

Yet, the government is not resting on its oars as it is currently working on more roads such as the Lekki Regional Roads, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Agric-Isawo Road, Ikorodu, Bola Tinubu-Igbogbo-Imota Road, Ijede Road, Ikorodu (Phase 1), Oba Sekumade Road, Ipakodo, Ikorodu and Itamaga to Ewu Elepe, Hospital Road in Badagry, Abaranje Road Network in Alimosho, Adeniji Adele Road, Lagos Island and Reverend Braithwaite Road in Epe among others. This is aside from the 377 grassroots projects that are at various stages of completion across all the wards in the state.

In the Badagry axis, the administration has recently completed Aradagun-Imeke-Iworo-Ajido-Epeme road phase II. This reaffirms the commitment of the Sanwo-Olu to the administration to catalyze the tourism sector in Badagry. Phase II is to complement the earlier concluded Phase I, while Phase III has also been awarded and preliminary works already in progress. The project is designed to effectively connect the Lagos Badagry Expressway.

From all indications, the proposed 38 km 4th Mainland Bridge, which started years ago and has been dominant on the to-do-list of the Sanwo-Olu administration, will soon see the light of the day. This administration, in its resolve to ensure quick delivery of the project, has enhanced the role of Private Sector Partnerships in the delivery process.

Considering the level of work done so far in the area of road construction and rehabilitation, in addition to several on-going commitments, it is expected that significant improvement will take place in road transportation across the state in the coming months. Since it is a well acknowledged reality that improved infrastructure invariably improves the quality of life of the people, the Greater Lagos aspiration of the Sanwo-Olu’s administration is certainly on course.

*Musbau is assistant director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency (LASIAMA), Alausa, Ikeja.

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