BY GEORGE OKOJIE |
Lagos State that pride itself as a State of Excellence has continued to record rapid infrastructure development under the quintessential governor of the state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu , a visionary leader with genuine zeal to translate his Lagos dream into an unsurpassable legacy.
Of significant note is the recently unveiled 1.4 kilometres iconic Pen Cinema Flyover Bridge project now a tribute to the dogged determination of Governor Sanwo-Olu led administration to turn around the fortunes of the state.
The construction of the 1.4-kilometre long flyover is not a fluke, it was part of the recommendation at the Lagos Economic Summit (Ehingbeti) under ex-Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration, as a strategic intervention to achieving significant traffic improvement in the densely populated area.
In a bid to actualize the objective, the last administration led by Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode created the right-of-way and set up the structural beams before Governor Sanwo-Olu substantially completed civil works on the bridge.
Observers have agreed that the multiplier project that came with five arterial like the adjoining Iju Road, Oba Ogunji Road, Agunbiade Road, Oke Koto Intersection and Iyana Ipaja link road is one of the key infrastructure required not only to ease the age long pains of motorists and residents who live in that axis but also move the state to its anticipated economic destination.
A resident of Agege area of the state Alani Banjoko, told LEADERSHIP that,’’ life has been very tough for us without this Flyover bridge done for us by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu . We have been suffering so much here. This road leads to so many parts of the state. So at peak hours , the whole place is jammed. The traffic gridlock you will meet on this spot where the dualised bridge is built will make your life miserable for the rest of the day.
For Andrew Anozie, ‘’ At a point I was considering relocating from this axis because of the stress of traffic gridlock we experience on a daily basis here. If one do not wake up early to quickly pass this spot where the state government has constructed the bridge. Honestly one will just be suffering in traffic , sometimes these unruly
commercial drivers will hit your vehicle, break your side mirror. In the evening another problem, some bad boys were robbing people on traffic here. I have been a victim. These bad boys they call, ‘Awawa Boys’ operate on this spot every night. But now all that problems are over.’’
A motorist, Jonathan Idowu advised the government to provide road signs on the iconic bridge, saying ,’’the Sanwo-Olu led government has succeeded in easing the traffic gridlock here but as you can see the motorists are missing their ways. There are no road signs directing people to different destinations like Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Ikeja and others. That is why you see people turning at the middle of the
bridge. That could cause an accident if care is not taken. For in the Agege , Abule-Egba axis it’s a dream come true for us . We are greatly relieved.’’
Commenting on the importance of the project, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. (Hon.) Mudashiru Obasa, said the completion of the project shows the collaboration and strong relationship that exists between the legislature and the executive arms of government, adding that fifty streets had so far been rehabilitated in the area by the Sanwo-Olu administration.
Corroborating the Speaker, the Chairman, House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Hon. Abiodun Tobun, said the project is going to improve the economic activities in the area as well as the residents’ and well-being.
The Special Adviser to Governor on Work and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye, said it was another sustainable road infrastructure investment and development effort of the Sanwo -Olu’s administration in line with the THEMES agenda to support businesses, promote development and ultimately improve the social economic well-being of Lagosians.
Adeyoye stated that the project which include the rehabilitation of five adjoining roads, would provide an enduring solution to the traffic and transportation problem in the axis, stressing that it would also change the skyline of the area and ease traffic gridlock tremendously.
Flanked by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, members of the State Executive Council, Members of the National Assembly, Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly, royal fathers, party faithful, market leaders and members of Community Development Associations (CDAs) among others, the state Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu described the delivery of the project as a “landmark progress” in his
administration’s drive towards eliminating bottlenecks causing suffocating gridlocks to relieve residents of the stress associated with commuting.
Sanwo-Olu said the two-pronged approach, which his administration deployed in delivering critical infrastructure, gave priority to continuation and completion of strategic projects, regular maintenance and construction of new ones in line with the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP).
He said his administration did not discontinue the project because it was in tune with the first pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, the six-pillar development initiative, which targets the provision of roads for expedited economic growth and seamless mobility.
He said: “I am delighted to stand before Lagosians today to celebrate the delivery of this landmark project which, again, reflects our administration’s belief in the principle of continuity in governance and demonstrates our commitment to the urgency of infrastructure development and the welfare of our people. The completion of this flyover and five network of roads sends a strong message about our determination to accelerate our futuristic vision for a world class transportation system complemented by a good network of roads for social and economic transformation.
“In order to address the challenge of huge traffic burden, the immediate past administration initiated and commenced the construction of a precast and pre-stressed reinforced concrete of 1.4km dual-carriage flyover and ramp, with road works across the Agege-Pen Cinema Intersection. As of May 2019 when this administration was inaugurated, this project was at about 20 per cent progress. With the delivery of this bridge, which is complemented with traffic signalisation and drainage channels, we have resolved the perennial traffic arising from huge human and vehicular movement from Agege-Pen Cinema Intersection towards Abule-Egba, Fagba, Oke Koto and Iyana Ipaja.”
To achieve a quick turnaround in commuting on the bridge, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that his administration identified and reconstructed five strategic arterial roads with good connectivity to adjoining roads that could serve as alternative bypasses to other routes when traffic is heavy.
The Governor said since road transportation remained crucial to economic growth and physical development, he believed the project would inject more life into socio-economic activities of people living and doing business in the area.
He said: “A key outcome from the strategic execution of this magnificent Pen Cinema Flyover project is that our administration has again demonstrated the priority it accords to the wellbeing of our people. It is a true test of our commitment to the Greater Lagos vision and a reflection of the achievability of our audacious socio-economic goals. In the course of implementing this project, we created jobs for about 380 people, including engineers, supervisors, artisans and others – a clear indicator of the nexus between infrastructure development and employment generation.”
Sanwo-Olu promised that his administration would not relent in the provision of infrastructure for coordinated and sustainable development that would help to improve the state’s performance on the Ease of Doing Business index.