Economy, jobs in focus as Lagos increases infrastructure spend by 20%

When Lagos State government increased its capital expenditure from N104.9billion in 2020 to N125.9 billion in 2021, the main focus was on growing the state economy and creating jobs for the people.

That increase, about 20 percent, in the state’s infrastructure spend was also aimed to provide good roads and bridges that would bring immediate impactful succour to commuters and motorists alike.

Apparently, some level of results have been achieved with this move, according to Aramide Adeyoye, the special adviser to the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Works and Infrastructure, who spoke at a ministerial briefing to mark the governor’s second year in office.

About 51 road projects have been constructed and delivered in the last two years through state-wide activities of the ministry of works and infrastructure and its various agencies, particularly the Public Works Corporation (PWC).

Though the impact of these projects are not felt across the state as most parts of the sprawling city are still enmeshed in traffic congestion and gridlock, it has eased driving experience and reduced travel time for commuters in the axis where they were executed.

Those projects have also improved the value of property in those areas even though landlords and native land owners are taking undue advantage of the developments to increase house rent and land price espectively.

The execution of these projects is besides what Aramide called “continual intervention on roads repair and maintenance” of over 632 inner roads, covering about 192 kilometres of roads by the PWC.

“These 51 iconic roads and the 632 inner roads are additions to over 23 public building infrastructure that the office of works is providing for the people of the state,” the special adviser noted.

Construction and rehabilitation of roads in the state are based on the state’s infrastructure development roadmap which prioritises connectivity and economic importance. This means that roads selected for design, award, construction and execution are on the basis of their ability to connect communities.

“The projects must be in sync with intermodal transport system and urban regeneration agenda of this administration. The infrastructure roadmap of the state will be presented to the public before the end of this year,” Adeyoye disclosed.

For various reasons, among which are high rate of usage and heavy rains in a coastal city, most roads in Lagos are in deplorable conditions but, to an extent, some of them, mostly in the city centre, have been rehabilitated.

The special adviser recalled that when this administration came on board, even the metropolis were littered by potholes, non-functional drains and extensive level of dilapidation with the resultant effect on traffic gridlock, increase in travel time and unavoidable stress on motorists.

At the moment, the state has about 43 roads project that are on-going. A major project that will be coming on by the end of this year is the Fourth Mainland Bridge. Contract for the construction of this bridge, which will be done on a public private partnership will be awarded in December 2021.

The development and continual maintenance of existing public buildings are also receiving attention of the Sanwo-Olu administration and there are many of them in this class. One of such buildings is the multi-storey car park being developed in the Onikan area of the state.

The project which was designed to maximize every inch of the available space and to minimize projected lengthy tailbacks of queuing cars can accommodate about 400 cars over the ground and five suspended floors.

It is expected that when completed, this facility will provide solution to the problem of car parking space on the island which has given rise to mushrooming parking lots in tight locations around Tafawa Balewa and Kings College axis.

Source: Business Day

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