The Lagos State Government on Monday announced plans to upgrade the network of roads in Ikeja to improve and boost the economic stature of the seat of Government to world class standard and to reduce traffic gridlock around the corridor to the barest minimum, just as it revealed readiness to expand the Awolowo Way with an elevated highway from the Ikeja Airport Hotel to Alausa.
Speaking at the ongoing Ministerial Press Briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre to commemorate Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s one year in office, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson said the elevated highway was designed to decongest the traffic gridlock along Allen Round-about, Kudirat Abiola Round-about and Agidingbi Road-about.
Johnson, who equally disclosed that there would be an expansion of the Allen/Opebi Road to Odo Iya-Alaro via a link bridge at Ogudu to the Third Mainland Bridge, said the network of roads, when upgraded, would boost the economic activities in Ikeja, adding that the development was in line with the vision of Governor Ambode to transform Ikeja to a state capital in the real sense of it commensurate with other capital cities in the world.
Highlighting the scorecard of the Ministry so far, Johnson said the Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) worked on 540 roads from May 30, 2015 to April 5, 2016 out of which outright rehabilitation was carried out on 32 of the roads, while sectional patching and overlay was done on 509 roads, adding that 433 of the roads have been successfully completed.
Some of the major roads rehabilitated by the LSPWC, according to the Commissioner, included but not limited to Alfa Nla Road in Agege, Metal Box Road in Ikeja, Ikotun-Ejigbo Road and the ongoing road projects in Ajasa Command and Aboru.
He said: “At the inception of this administration, this Ministry put in place a three-fold strategy for the provision of road infrastructure. The short term measure is the maintenance of existing roads known as “Operation Patch the Roads”, being carried out by the LSPWC, while the medium term strategy is aimed at the sustainability of existing roads, rehabilitation and construction of new roads, reconstruction of existing and expansion of highways and bridges.
“A total of 224 on-going road projects were inherited from the previous administration in the various Local Government Areas of the State and I wish to inform you that 42 of these projects have been completed while construction works are still on-going on others.”
He said government has already completed the alignments of the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge, and that talks have been held with a consortium of consultants in furtherance of the project, while a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed before the end of May.
He said the bridge, when completed, will traverse from Ajah to North West direction towards the Lagoon shoreline to Lagos-Ibadan expressway via Ikorodu, adding that approximate length of the bridge would be 37.9km with a designed speed of 140km/h.
He assured that all the on-going projects would be completed as scheduled which included pedestrian bridges, flyovers in Abule-Egba and Ajah, and many other projects.
Also speaking in a similar briefing, the State’s Commissioner for Housing, Prince Gbolahan Lawal said the State Government has introduced a policy known as rent-to-own designed to make housing more accessible and affordable particularly to low and medium income earners in both the formal and informal sectors.
He said under the arrangement, individuals would be required to pay just 5 per cent of the value of housing unit as commitment fee and payment is spread over 10 years at 6 per cent interest rate.
Lawal also disclosed that the State Government would soon embark on massive construction of 50 Housing Units in each of the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the State in a bid to tackle the housing deficit.
He said that government would also go into partnership with private sector to deliver affordable housing units, and also facilitate mortgage finance with the view to addressing the challenges in the housing value-chain.