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Lagos Govt partners Afreximbank, Access Bank on 4th Mainland Bridge

By Yemi Olakitan

The African Export-Import Bank and Access Bank have partnered with Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to boost the state’s long-term development initiatives.

The partnership signed during the Africaribbean Trade and Investment Forum 2023 in Guyana is concentrated on important projects including the Omu Creek Project, the Fourth Mainland Bridge, and the LRMT Blue Line’s second phase, which runs from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko.

Sanwo-Olu emphasized that his administration is committed to using these revolutionary initiatives to help Lagos have a better future.

“It was a significant moment in Guyana at the Africaribbean Trade and Investment Forum 2023 as we’ve secured a partnership with the African Export-Import Bank and Access Bank for a massive investment of $1.352bn in Lagos,” said Sanwo-Olu recently, revealing this development on X (formerly Twitter).

The Fourth Mainland Bridge, the Omu Creek Project, and the Second Phase of the LRMT Blue Line from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko are just a few of the important projects that this financing will help us realize as we move forward. Our goal is to improve Lagos’s future and that of its citizens.

With the construction of the Lagos Food Systems and Logistics Hub in Epe and the Lekki-Epe International Airport, our vision for Lagos is coming to pass.

These initiatives will benefit future generations and strengthen our economy even further. Lagos has a more promising future than before.

The Fourth Mainland Bridge is a 38 km long bridge project by the Lagos State Government, Nigeria, connecting Lagos Island by way of Langbasa (Lekki) and Baiyeku (Ikorodu) across the Lagos Lagoon to Itamaga, in Ikorodu.

The bridge is a 2 x 4 lane carriageway cross-sectional road with permission for BRT Lane and future road contraction.

It is expected to become the second longest Bridge in Africa, featuring 3 toll plazas, 9 interchanges, 4.5 km Lagoon Bridge and an eco-friendly environment amongst other added features.

The idea for a 4th Mainland Bridge was first mooted in 2003 during the administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State. The bridge was intended to provide the required transportation to complement the rapidly growing industrial activities on the Eti-Osa – Lekki – Epe corridor of Lagos State.

However, the project faced several delays and challenges due to funding issues, environmental concerns, and land acquisition disputes.

In 2017, under the administration of Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of Lagos State, the project was revived with an estimated cost of ₦844 billion in the 2017 budget.

The state government announced that it had received 32 expressions of interest from local and international firms for the construction of the bridge.

However, in May 2019, Ambode’s administration terminated its contract with Hitech Construction Company Limited over undisclosed reasons.

In September 2019, Sanwo-Olu’s administration announced that it had shortlisted six firms out of 39 that submitted bids for the construction of the bridge.

In January 2020, Sanwo-Olu said that three companies had reached the final stage, and contract would be awarded in March 2020.

However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the project was put on hold until further notice.

In December 2020, Sanwo-Olu said that his administration had secured approval from President Muhammadu Buhari for a special dispensation to enable it commence work on its proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge project.

He said that the state government had also obtained clearance from federal agencies such as Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH), among others.

In December 2022, Sanwo-Olu announced that Messrs CCECC – CRCCIG Consortium had been selected as the preferred bidder for the construction of the bridge.

He said that the project was expected to be completed in four years, and that it would create over 10,000 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs for Nigerians.

He also said that his administration had carried along over 48 estates, traditional rulers and others that would be affected by the bridge.

The Omu Creek Project is another ambitious initiative by Sanwo-Olu’s administration to transform Omu Creek into a world-class waterfront community with residential, commercial, recreational and tourism facilities.

The project is expected to cover about 1,000 hectares of land and water, and attract over $1 billion in foreign direct investment.

The project is being executed in partnership with Access Bank Plc, which has committed to provide $500 million for the development of the first phase of the project.

The first phase will include the construction of a 2.5 km bridge across Omu Creek, a 10 km road network, a 30 MW power plant, a water treatment plant, a sewage treatment plant, and other infrastructure.

The project will also feature a marina, a golf course, a shopping mall, a convention center, a hospital, a school, a hotel, and other amenities. The project is expected to create over 40,000 jobs and boost the state’s revenue generation.

The LRMT Blue Line is a light rail project by the Lagos State Government to provide mass transit services along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway corridor.

The project was conceived in 2008 by Tinubu’s administration as part of the Lagos Urban Transport Project (LUTP), which aimed to improve the transport system in Lagos.

The Blue Line is designed to run from Okokomaiko to Marina, covering a distance of 27 km and having 13 stations. The project is being executed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) under a design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) contract.

The first phase of the project, which runs from Mile 2 to Marina, was expected to be completed by 2011, but was delayed due to funding constraints, land acquisition issues, and technical challenges.

In 2016, Ambode’s administration said that it had secured a loan of $200 million from the French Development Agency (AFD) to complete the first phase of the project by December 2016. However, the project was further delayed due to currency fluctuations, inflation, and COVID-19 pandemic.

In June 2020, Sanwo-Olu’s administration said that it had completed 60 percent of the first phase of the project and that it would be operational by December 2020.

However, in October 2020, some of the rail tracks and stations were vandalized during the #EndSARS protests against police brutality in Nigeria.

In February 2021, Sanwo-Olu said that his administration had repaired the damaged rail tracks and stations and that it would commence test runs on the first phase of the project by May 2021.

He also said that his administration had secured funding from Access Bank Plc for the construction of the second phase of the project, which runs from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko.

He said that the second phase of the project would be completed by December 2022 and that it would have eight stations.

He also said that his administration had commenced discussions with potential operators for the Blue Line and that it would ensure that the fares are affordable for commuters.

The partnership between Sanwo-Olu’s administration and Access Bank Plc is expected to accelerate the completion of these strategic projects and enhance the socio-economic development of Lagos State.

The projects are also expected to improve the quality of life of Lagosians and reduce traffic congestion in the state.

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