The journey to the second year of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration has taken off on a note of infrastructural drive. On Saturday, the Governor flagged off the construction of the long-awaited Regional Road in Lekki region – a critical infrastructure proposed in the Lekki-Epe master plan aimed at decongesting traffic gridlocks in the entire Eti Osa Local Government Area.
At a groundbreaking ceremony held on the project site, the Governor described the development as “a manifestation” of his administration’s commitment towards improving socio-economic activities on the Lekki-Epe axis by the provision of supporting infrastructure.
The construction of the 8.75 kilometre-long road, being undertaken by Messrs Hi-Tech Construction Company Limited, will link Lekki-Epe Expressway at Victoria Garden City (VGC) Junction to the Freedom Way in Eti Osa. The road is also said to be a precursor to the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge that is expected to take off from the axis.
When completed in the next 24 months, Sanwo-Olu said the Regional Road would not only change the entire landscape of Eti Osa and improve journey time for commuters, he said it would also drive up the efficiency of Government’s traffic management strategy.
He said: “With the flag off of the construction of this critical road infrastructure, we are keeping the promise we made to Lagosians. As a Government, when we give commitments to our people, we do not shy away from it. Our word is our bond. Today’s event is a manifestation of our pledge to address infrastructural challenges on the Eti Osa axis.
“We know what people go through on the Lekki-Epe Expressway as a result of traffic. We are moved by the pains to hasten the process of putting the Regional Road in place to bring the long sought relief to our citizens working and living on this axis. Today, we are here for the groundbreaking ceremony to start work on this critical infrastructures.”
Sanwo-Olu said the Government and the contractor had made plans for exigencies that may arise in the course of the construction work, assuring that the project would not be stalled by unforeseen challenges.
He said Hi-Tech had assured the Government that the project would be delivered on agreed period, even in the event of being faced by unforeseeable challenges.
He said: “By the time of our third anniversary in office, we should have been getting ready to commission this road. That is the commitment we have given and we are going to hold the contractor on this timeline. As a Government, we will keep our own part.”
In tough tones, the Governor said sanctions awaited property developers and state officials who undermined the State’s planning approvals and encroached the alignments of the Regional Road. Sanwo-Olu directed the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to sanction any State official found culpable in compromising the the planning approval and right-of-way of the road.
The Governor said: “The Regional Road alignment has been gazetted long time ago, but we realise people deliberately flouted our approved plan for the road. I have instructed the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development to discipline and sanction officials that have been found culpable to compromise any form of approval for the right-of-way. They will be punished with people who raise properties on the approved alignment.”
Sanwo-Olu appealed to residents to cooperate with the Government and the contractor towards making the project a reality, pointing out that the construction work may bring about temporary period of hardship. He said the relief that would follow the completion of the project would assuage any feeling of pain experienced by residents on the axis.
The Governor briefly spoke about the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge, assuring that the multi-million dollar project would take off before the end of the current dispensation. He said the bridge was not part of his campaign promise, but added that the completion of the Regional Road necessitate the need for the bridge.
“Within the first quarter of next year, we would have identified the best bidder for the construction of Fourth Mainland Bridge, which will extend from Eti Osa to Ikorodu and burst out of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. This project will have great impact on our traffic management and transportation blueprint,” he said.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs. Aramide Adeyoye, said the Regional Road remains strategic address the infrastructural need of the Lekki sub-region as the new economic centre in the State.
The completion of the road, she said, will bring about competitive business environment and ease traffic off Third Mainland Bridge and serve as alternative to Lekki-Epe Expressway.