Keynote Address Delivered By Governor Ambode On The Occasion Of The Official Launch Of The Alaro Satellite City, Epe

Keynote Address Delivered By Governor Ambode On The Occasion Of The Official Launch Of The Alaro Satellite City, Epe

At the inception of this administration, one of our cardinal missions was to make every part of the State economically viable and livable. To achieve this, we invested massively in infrastructural development across the State.

As we embarked on this course of action, we sought for private sector partners to support our objective to develop every part of our State because we know that government, on its own, would be unable to achieve this.  This is why this official launch of the Alaro Satellite City is a major landmark for our administration.

Today’s event is a demonstration of the confidence the organised private sector and foreign investors have in our State, our Government and the viability of doing business in Lagos. The Alaro Satellite City is a strong statement that our Lagos is still attracting more direct foreign investment.

I officially welcome Rendeavour Group to Lagos and I thank you for the confidence to invest in our State. I am also very happy that we have today added another viable investor to the Lekki-Epe corridor whose investment will create jobs and improve the livelihood of our people.

The Alaro Satellite City was conceived to provide housing schemes to a broad spectrum of income earners, industrial workspaces, warehouses, hospitality and commercial office facilities amongst others. The project would not only open up the corridor but would transform its economic landscape by providing jobs, reducing poverty and contributing significantly to socio-economic development of the State, especially in terms of the GDP of the State in particular, and the country in general.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I recall that at the onset of this project, the Rendeavour Group had requested for 2,000 (Two thousand hectares of land), out of which our government approved only 500 (Five hundred) hectares because, as a Government, we needed to be sure that investors have sufficient commitment and capacity to deliver project of great magnitude. We wanted to avoid a situation where our land is just kept for speculation purposes.

However, it gladdens my heart to say that since May, 2018 when the investors, through the North West Quadrant Development Company (NWQDC) moved to site, I have been impressed with the high level of seriousness and the record speed with which the milestone we are witnessing today has been achieved.

This show of commitment and Rendeavour’s enviable track-record with similar projects in other African countries like Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, was enough impetus for our government to approve an additional 500 (Five hundred) hectares for this project.

As partners in this project, I assure you of our State’s unshaken commitment to the success of the project. You can be rest assured that all relevant approving agencies would promptly attend to any of your needs in the course of your operations in this Zone.

We are aware that the increase in construction and industrial activities are already taking its toll on the road networks and other complementary infrastructure along this corridor. In order to forestall future chaotic traffic log-jams within this corridor and avoid similar incidences such as is being experienced in the Apapa axis, we have initiated the process of constructing the 7th Axial Road from the Lekki Deep Sea Port, en route the Lekki Free Zone to the Shagamu-Benin Expressway.

The design for the construction of a 50-hectare truck park within the Lekki-Epe corridor is also in progress.

Distinguished Guests, at this juncture, I must appreciate the trust and forbearance of the host community in Epe for believing in our administration and supporting the development of this historic project. Indeed, the hospitality and cooperation of the indigenous families, ably represented by the Resettlement Committees, has yielded positive results with this epoch-making milestone that would not only fast-track the development of the Lekki-Epe corridor but would transform the general socio-economic landscape of our State.

In appreciation of this support, our government has approved 750 (seven hundred and fifty) hectares of land as resettlement land for communities displaced from Parcel B of the Lekki Free Zone. The communities are Yegunda, Abomiti and Eyin-Osa. I have instructed the Lands Bureau to expedite action on the enumeration of the land in question to accelerate payment of compensation and the issuance of the C of O.

Our Dear Stakeholders and noble partners, let me assure you of the commitment of the Lagos State Government towards ensuring the security of all investments and maintaining good harmonious relationships between the investors and the host communities. Lagos State will always continue to be the number one investment destination in Africa.

On this final note, on behalf of the good people and Government of Lagos State, I once again congratulate the Rendeavour Group on this epoch making event and wish you continuous business prosperity.

It is, therefore, my greatest pleasure to unveil the Alaro Satellite City, in the North West Quadrant of the Lekki Free Zone, Epe to the glory of God.

Thank you.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko Lo J’ewa L’ogun

 

Lagos, NIWA Begin Talks To End Age-Long Conflict On Waterways Regulation

Lagos, NIWA Begin Talks To End Age-Long Conflict On Waterways Regulation

…Resolution In Best Interest Of All Parties

…Posterity ‘ll Judge You Rightly, Mamora Tells Lagos Gov

 

The Lagos State Government and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) on Monday expressed readiness to go into talks to facilitate amicable resolution of the age-long tussle between the federal agency and the Lagos State Inland Waterways Authority (LASWA) over regulation and control of the waterways.

The State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who said this while receiving NIWA’s Managing Director, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and top management staff of the agency on courtesy visit at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said putting the perennial conflict between NIWA and LASWA behind was the most patriotic thing to do, and that it would also in the best interest of all, especially the economic prosperity of the people.

He said without prejudice to the matter currently before the Supreme Court on the issue, the State Government nonetheless was ready to implement strategies to engender peaceful resolution of the grey areas and points of conflict in the overall interest of the people.

The Governor said it was particularly instructive and beneficial that NIWA was being headed at this particular point in time by Mamora, just as he expressed optimism that the development would translate to the end of hostilities that had been going on for decades between the federal agency and LASWA.

According to him, “We are doing this not just for ourselves; we are doing it for Nigeria and Lagos. I believe strongly that the appointment of Senator Mamora is divine and even prior to his assumption as MD of NIWA and ever since he has taken over, there has not been any major complaints from the controversy between the State Government and NIWA and we are very happy for this.

“Let me reiterate here that I give my total support for the amicable resolution of the issue irrespective of the legal tussle that we have been having over the decades and we also respect the rule of law. We know that whatever the decision of the Supreme Court, it would still have to be implemented by the operators and so I give my commitment and total cooperation that anything that is outstanding, we would resolve amicably.”

While commending the NIWA management for championing mutual relationship, the Governor directed key officers of the State Government to dialogue with the NIWA team with the view of coming up with structured approach to solidify the partnership.

“I give the go ahead to all my management team and key officers to sit down with the management team of NIWA. Whatever grey areas should be resolved. I think in the areas that we have talked about, issues relating to right of way, revenue and so on, we can resolve and I can observe that things have been very peaceful in these areas but we can document and put in proper shape to let other people also understand that we have moved forward progressively.

“The approach the NIWA MD has taken is commendable because once we continue to dialogue, it is for the peace and prosperity of Nigerians and not about ourselves and once we are able to get that as the main objective, I think every other thing will just fall in place. We are one government and one nation and there is no reason why we should not create progress and prosperity for Nigerians and I think this is what the renewed relationship is out to achieve,” Governor Ambode said.

Earlier, Mamora said his team was at Lagos House to raise the bar for the good of the people by amicably resolving issues relating to waterways transportation, right of way of waterfront and sensitization of waterway users on the need to always fully comply with waterways transportation code.

Mamora, who is a former Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly and Senator representing Lagos East at the Senate, also commended Governor Ambode for his achievements in office, saying posterity would be kind to him.

“With this reception, I want to highly commend your Excellency and this is highly appreciated because you have taken very bold step forward and we can always rely on your support. I also stand here to commend what you have done for Lagos State and for your achievements, I am sure posterity will judge you right,” Mamora said.

 

How Governor Ambode Is Changing Ugly Narrative of Lagos Airport Road

How Governor Ambode Is Changing Ugly Narrative of Lagos Airport Road

By May this year, Akinwunmi Ambode will be stepping down as the governor of Lagos State. He would have spent four years in office by that date.

Although a one-term governor, overseeing the affairs of Nigeria’s most populous and dynamic commercial state for only four years, Ambode will, however, be leaving behind a legacy that will give Lagos and Nigerians a positive showing locally and internationally for years to come.
If all goes well as recently hinted by Adebowale Akinsanya, the Lagos State commissioner for works and infrastructure, the Lagos airport road, which links the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) from Oshodi, will be completed and handed in a couple of months.
Ambode secured the approval of the Federal Government to redesign and expand the road in June 2017 and eventually flagged off the reconstruction work in September of same year.
What is currently happening on the federal road leading directly to the international wing of the airport had been long overdue, but successive governments had turned a blind eye and showed less concern about the pain that Nigerians, international tourists, visitors and motorists had been subjected to for years as a result of the poor state of the airport road.

But that narrative is changing and, in the words of John Amadi, a resident of Ajao Estate, which is situated along the airport road, the redevelopment of the road “bears a testimony to the commitment of Ambode to changing the ignoble past and making Nigerians proud again”.
For decades, the airport road had been left in a state of squalor despite being the entry route into Nigeria for international visitors and investors arriving the country through its busiest airport by far, MMIA. Before the current intervention, the road bore a sad narrative of Nigeria’s shameful infrastructure trajectory.

For many years, the airport road elicited concerns from all quarters and provided uncomplimentary headlines for local and international media.

Government after government only paid lip service, as promises never got translated into reality.
For air transport passengers using the road, it was always a case of getting stuck in traffic congestion and missing their flights in the process.

For several others, in the bid to keep appointments around the airport precincts, commercial motorcycles (popularly also known as ‘Okada’) had become the alternative mode of transportation, thus mocking Africa’s biggest economy as perhaps the only country in the world where air passengers ride on motorcycles into the airport.

Apart from the fact that the two-lane road fell short of the standard expected of an international airport road, it was almost perpetually in darkness as the streetlight poles only stood menacingly to remind that government in this part of world cares less about the safety of the citizens and international visitors.

According to Adelekan, the reconstruction of the road also shows that what public office holders need to bring about positive changes at all levels is political will.

He is of the view that the often flaunted excuses of paucity of funds are most of the times not the real reason why governments fail to deliver value to the citizens.

Akinsanya, the commissioner for works and infrastructure, who visited the site last week in the company of Governor Ambode, is optimistic that the project will be completed before the end of the first half of 2019.

Although initially targeted to be delivered in December 2018 as a ‘Christmas Gift’ to Nigerians, issues bordering on relocation of utility facilities had pushed forward the projected completion date.

The road is designed as a six-lane dual carriage expressway (three major lanes on both directions), plus two-lane service roads on both directions. The reconstruction is with a ramp bridge designed to provide a U-turn from Ajao Estate to the airport. Also incorporated is a flyover at NAHCO/tollgate, and drainage works.

The road, which is nearing completion, is also coming with two new pedestrian bridges at Ajao Estate and NAHCO/Hajj Camp, as well as slip road to provide access to Ajao Estate, lay-bys and streetlights to meet required international standards.

Governor Ambode, who undertook an inspection tour of the road and other projects in the state, said his administration took the decision to reconstruct the road because it is one of the busiest roads in the state, with average vehicular volume of 50,000 daily.

According to him, the poor state of the road was not acceptable for the status of the state as the fifth largest economy in Africa and the nation’s commercial hub.

The road will link up with the Oshodi Transport Interchange (OTI), also being constructed by the government, to provide a seamless and stress-free ride for passengers arriving the airport and driving into the commercial city.

Credit—BusinessDay

Bus Reform Project To Kick Off March With 820 Buses

Bus Reform Project To Kick Off March With 820 Buses

…Inspects Airport Road, Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT Corridor, Bus Terminals, Others

…Reaffirms Commitment To Complete Ongoing Projects

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday said plans have been firmed up to roll out the Bus Reform Project of the State Government in March with 820 high and medium capacity buses, saying that the initiative would redefine public transportation and make the State to be globally competitive.

The Governor, who said this during an extensive inspection tour of ongoing projects across the State which lasted from morning till late in the night, said the initiative was basically designed to inject 5,000 buses, modern terminals, facilitate ease of mobility for residents and also rev up Lagos economy, among others.

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While inspecting the assembling plant at Awoyaya in Ibeju Lekki area of the State which is also serving as the temporary holding bay for 500 out of the 820 buses, Governor Ambode expressed optimism that the buses would be rolled out after the elections, while the next phase of the project would be to assemble the buses in Lagos.

“This is an assembling plant. The dream is that beyond the procurement of 820 buses by government, the next set of buses in the vision should be assembled in Lagos in this assembling plant and another one in Epe.

“That is the dream and the whole project is scalable and in this scale right now, we would run with the 820; you have seen the maintenance workshops and all that, and then the next scale which is the next phase is for Nigerians to be able to assemble the buses in Lagos and then we create employment opportunities and also allow the GDP of Lagos to grow. The buses are ready and we think with everything we have done, we should be able to roll out these buses maybe immediately after the elections,” he said.

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The Governor said though the 5, 000 buses would not be enough for the State, but the government was showing good example and creating the conducive atmosphere to allow the private sector to come in and participate in the whole arrangement.

“What has happened is that government has gone ahead to procure these buses using its funds and the buses are being owned by a government company called Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL). So, the LBSL will lease these buses to operators who would use the three depots at Oshodi, Anthony and Yaba to ensure that the buses are sustained and maintained properly so that they don’t get wasted before their lifespan expires.

“The idea is if we are able to show good example of which we have procured these buses with our own money, the private sector can join hands with us and start to procure those additional buses that will take it to 5,000, while government can also procure more and by so doing, we would have had assembling plant in Lagos and create job opportunities for our people.

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“By the time you put these buses on the road, it will create jobs for drivers, engineers, technicians, and so on, thereby growing the economy of Lagos coming from the transport sector in addition to 100 bus stops being constructed simultaneously across the State with attendant positive impact on the economy. So, the idea is create jobs, grow the economy, make the city to be globally competitive and then make life comfortable for the people.”

Among the projects inspected by the Governor and his team are Oshodi Transport Interchange which is 85 per cent completed; Bus Depot at Oshodi, Yaba, Oyingbo to be ready by March; International Airport Road to be ready by early May; Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT Corridor to be delivered by April; and vehicle assembling plant at Awoyaya in Ibeju Lekki.

The bus depots are equipped with facilities such as depot office, dormitory, 30,000 litres underground tank, 30, 000 litres overhead tank, automated and elevated car wash, toilets, fuel dump, utility buildings and central workshop housing spare parts and operational offices, as well as equipment for the maintenance of the buses.

Oshodi-International Airport Road nearing completion, being inspected by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.
Oshodi-International Airport Road nearing completion, being inspected by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

The 820 buses, which have already been delivered, are equipped with cameras, USB point, internet, television, and special spaces for physically challenged, pregnant women and the aged, among others.

The Governor, who rode in one of the buses with cabinet members, allayed fears of some residents over ongoing projects, saying that concerted efforts would be made to complete many of them before the expiration of his tenure.

He said the good thing about the continuity in governance which he had been preaching is that the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu had signed on to the projects.

“I know that the feedback we are getting is that Lagosians are worried whether some of this our critical projects will be delivered before we leave office.

The Skywalk at the ongoing construction of Oshodi Transport Interchange being inspected by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019
The Skywalk at the ongoing construction of Oshodi Transport Interchange being inspected by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

“We want to assure them that with what we have had from the contractors and the inspection we have done today, these projects will be completed and some of them if they are not completed, Jide Sanwo-Olu will complete them and that is the whole essence of governance of continuity that we are preaching and that is why we believe strongly that he would not only complete them but also escalate them to higher level and that is the whole idea about APC,” Governor Ambode said.

 

LASG Promises To Deliver Major Ongoing Projects On Schedule

LASG Promises To Deliver Major Ongoing Projects On Schedule

…Orders Contractors To Speed Up Work

The Lagos State Government on Sunday ordered contractors handling major ongoing projects across the State to speed up work to bring relief and comfort to motorists and residents, assuring that no efforts would be spared to ensure the delivery of the projects on schedule.

Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Adebowale Akinsanya who said this after embarking on extensive inspection tour of ongoing projects in the State, said the government was not oblivious of the difficulties being experienced by motorists, adding that concerted efforts were on to seriously bring it under control.

He said with the rains subsiding, Lagosians should expect increased pace of work by contractors handling various projects, just as he assured that the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode was seriously committed to the delivery of the projects.

Ongoing construction work on the Pen Cinema Fly Over, Agege, being built by the Lagos State Government.
Ongoing construction work on the Pen Cinema Fly Over, Agege, being built by the Lagos State Government.

According to him, “I have just inspected the progress of work on Airport Road, Pen Cinema Flyover, Oshodi Transport Interchange, Onikan Stadium, Oshodi-Abule-Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and JK Randle Centre For Yoruba Culture and History.

“The inspection tour is at the instance of His Excellency the Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode who has equally given contractors handling various projects across the State matching orders to expedite work.

“You see, with the rains subsiding, the State Government is leaving no stone unturned to rev up the projects and bring the truly deserved comfort to the people as well as improve on the aesthetics of the State and that is why all hands are on deck to ensure completion of the projects on schedule,” Akinsanya said.

 Ongoing construction work on the Oshodi-International Airport road, being built by the Lagos State Government
Ongoing construction work on the Oshodi-International Airport road, being built by the Lagos State Government

He said the projects were deliberately embarked upon to align the State with the league of cities with world class infrastructures thus making Lagos to be globally competitive, adding that the gains of the investment of the present administration in provision of critical infrastructure would soon be positively felt on a large scale in all sectors.

On the traffic situation, the Commissioner said while potholes were being fixed day and night, the traffic management team of the State Government had equally jerked up activities, adding that other initiatives were being put in place to address the situation with the urgency required.

Ongoing construction of the Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT Corridor on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, being built by the Lagos State Government.
Ongoing construction of the Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT Corridor on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, being built by the Lagos State Government.

“As I speak to you, the Public Works Corporation has intensified their rehabilitation of potholes across the State. We were initially held back by the rains, but with the dry season now, more roads have been covered in the last one month and we appeal to Lagosians to be patient, if you have not seen them in your area, they will get their soon,” he assured.