By Grace Alegba and Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, Sept. 24, 2020 The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called for the private sector’s collaboration in government’s road regeneration drive in Lekki and Victoria Island to boost the state’s ease of doing business index for economic prosperity.
Sanwo-Olu made the appeal on Thursday while inuagurating six roads and seven junctions on Victoria Island – Lekki Trafffic Circulation Project.
He said that road infrastructure is critical to economic prosperity through improved accessibility to ease gridlock and reduce traffic time.
The governor said that the most critical challenge experienced on daily basis by residents and road users along the axis was the heavy traffic volume.
He said that the completion of the project would improve traffic flow, reduce travel time, eliminate perennial flooding issues, and serve as a boost for healthy and socio-economic well-being of the people.
According to the governor, the Victoria Island – Lekki Traffic Circulation Project started in December 2019 under a Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP) Programme by the srate government in conjunction with Access Bank PLC.
“It consists of: dualisation, expansion, construction and rehabilitation of some roads, junctions and turning radius improvement of some roads,” he said.
He explained that the provision of new drainage systems, re-routing some roads as one way and signalisation are some of the innovative solutions carefully designed to ease the daily gridlock being experienced by commuters on the axis.
Sanwo-Olu said that despite the difficult health and economic challenges of the COVID- 19 Pandemic experienced globally, his administration would remain committed to the economic prosperity of Lagos residents.
He listed some of the roads delivered under the project to include: Ligali Ayorinde, Muri Okunola – Aboyade Cole, Yesufu Abiodun Oniru, Ligali Ayorinde/Akinbolagbe/Okene .
He thanked Access Bank PLC for their collaboration in constructing the roads, adding that the partnership with the state government had reinforced the importance of the Public-Private Partnership [PPP] in public infrastructure delivery.
He said that the government was willing to give incentives such as tax holidays, branding and advertisement concessions to corporate organisations ready to partner the government.
Sanwo-Olu advised residents of Victoria Island to guard jealously the infrastructure, noting that though the project was sponsored by Access Bank PLC, it had become public infrastructure owned by all.
“Therefore, protecting them will further encourage the sponsors and government to do more,” he said.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye, applauded the vision of the governor and his deputy.
She urged them to to continue their partnership with the organised private sector for sustainable road infrastructure development in the state.
Adeyoye said that the State Transport Master Plan (STMP) and THEMES AGENDA of the administration showed deep sense of responsibility and commitment toward the delivery of strategic link roads.
She also commended Access Bank PLC for deeming it fit and proper to sponsor the project as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contribution to the growth of the state.
The Group Managing Director of Access Bank PLC, Mr Hubert Wigwe, expressed his pleasure at the delivery of what he described as an iconic project.
He said that the bank cherishes service, customer relationship and community service.
He added that the bank had transformed Oyin Jolayemi and other roads but described the just inaugurated project as the greatest.
He called on other corporate organisations to partner Access Bank to deliver quality infrastructure in the axis and also tackle other challenges affecting the community.
The traditional ruler of Iru Land, Oba Gbolahan Lawal, thanked the state government and Access Bank PLC for the project while pledging the support of his people to road regeneration drive.
Lawal said that 40 per cent of the workforce in the state lived on the Lekki/VI axis which made the project a very important and strategic one.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Planet Projects Ltd., Mr Biodun Otunola, gave a brief on the project.
He said that the 1.8km road was constructed with rigid pavements and was expected to serve the people for the next 50 years.