By Oluwatope Lawanson/Grace Alegba
Lagos, Sept. 29, 2020 The Minister of State for Environment, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, says the fourth Mainland Bridge in Lagos will on completion, complement President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s infrastructure-drive initiative.
She also said that it would absorb the shock of human traffic emanating from some recent major rail and road projects that were ongoing.
Ikeazor reoresented by Mrs Toyin Agbenla, said this on Tuesday at the first stakeholders’ meeting on Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Lagos Fourth Mainland Bridge.
The minister said that when the Ibadan Rail line is completed, business and human traffic would increase astronomically thereby putting more pressures on Lagos as the industrial hub of the nation.
She noted that the completion of the Fourth Mainland Bridge would ease the movements of people and goods.
She added that the project is one of the veritable ways of adding value to the increased economic activities of the country.
The minister, however, noted that there is no development that will not carry its own environmental crises.
She said that many other countries of the world had experienced various environmental crises due to development, adding that such challenges were being resolved through right environmental policies.
“Much desirable as the project is, no doubts; it comes with a plethora of environmental problems, challenges and negative impacts.
“Some of the environmental issues involved in the construction of a massive bridge of this nature are the construction phase impacts like: swamp forest degradation, habitat fragmentation, liquefaction, and sedimentation.
“Others are: ground water impacts; biodiversity impacts from the alteration of wetland hydrology (severance); and some operational phase impacts like road traffic noise, unintended consequences of infrastructure improvement and Hphuman health impacts,” she said.
Ikeazor expressed hope that the stakeholders would forward far-reaching ideas and recommendations that would assist the Federal Government in making the proposed project a major development that is executed with the highest levels of environmental sustainability.
Earlier, in her address of welcome, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajude Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Works and Infrastructure said that the project was “another bold step of inclusive governance”.
“The proposed bridge, which has a length of 4.05km, will comprise a “twin 7 lane deck” (2 parallel decks).
“This will provide for both the present traffic needs and the future traffic growth needs as well as potential for a BRT network,” she said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, represented by Mr Joe Igbokwe, the Special Adviser to the governor on Drainages and Water Resources, said that the completion of the Fourth Mainland Bridge would bring about a lot of economic development to Lagos State and Nigeria.
“We know the economic importance this project is going to have in Lagos.
“Various communities will benefit from this huge project, especially, those along tge cLagos-Ibadan Expressway, Bayeku, Isawo and its environ,” he said.