4th Mainland Bridge: FG says proposed project laudable, as LASG, stakeholders brainstorm

The Federal Government on Thursday said that the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge project in Lagos State would boost economic growth and enhance international trade.

The Minister for Environment, Dr Mahmood Abubakar, said this during an “Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Stakeholders scoping workshop with the Federal Ministry of Environment” in Lagos.

Abubakar said that construction of the proposed Lagos 4th Mainland Bridge was long overdue, noting that Lagos State Government had been working on it for about four years and had made several representations to the Federal Government.

The Minister, represented by Mr James Kolawole, a director from the ministry, said the project was about the people and would enhance commerce and international trade to improve livelihoods.

He congratulated Lagos State Government on the laudable project, while stressing the need to take cognisance of both positive and negative impacts of the project on stakeholders.

According to him, doing this will ensure all issues are addressed, so as not to compromise the comfort of future generations unborn.

“For us as a ministry, we are happy with the positive impact, but there is need to resolve the negative aspects; what we need is sustainable development,” he said.

Abubakar said that Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) was an important segment to address all concerns on the proposed construction.

The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said the Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration was committed in its vision for sustained quality infrastructure delivery across the state.

Adeyoye, represented by the Mr Raheem Owokoniran, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, said the passion was to drive development by putting adequate facilities in place.














A Director in the Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mr Tokunbo Ajanaku, said the state government was in the procurement process of of the project, and the interconnectivity makes the proposed 38 kilometres bridge important.

Ajanaku said the meeting was to ensure negative impacts were captured and mitigated to enhance wellbeing of residents and stakeholders in the state.

He said that the project had gone through a tender process and the best team of contractors and consultants had been chosen to progress to the next stage, which was construction.

” Which means that on the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge, we have the best of the best to work with us,” he said.

The director said that all technical, social and environmental issues should be brought to the fore to be dealt with “robustly and adequately” because the bridge connects the Island to the Mainland.

Ajanaku, while responding to various concerns raised by stakeholders, said the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu-led administration, in 2002, started the vision for construction of the bridge as part of the vision to expand road network to curb gridlock.











He said that the state government had a history of integrity and would pay right compensation on the 4th Mainland Bridge alignment, adding that resettlement would be done, and until all of the issues are closed, construction would not begin.

“Today, our plan is not to remove and relocate, our plan is comprehensive,” Ajanaku said.

He said that private sector funding was being used, and at the right time, all of the repayment options on the project, including tolling, would be unveiled.

Ajanaku said that all technical documents concerning the project would be made available in the public domain as well as the ministry.

The director also assured that all road furniture, among other facilities in the project were targeted to make it a world class infrastructure.

He appealed to stakeholders to always point out areas for government to make amends.

Mr Iwayemi Olalekan, Technical Consultant with Advanved Engineering Consultants, giving a brief of the project, said it was divided into four stages.

Olalekan said that the bridge would have nine interchanges, refinery, airport, free trade zone, toll sections with security patrol among other facilities in the project.












He enumerated the benefits to include several thousands of jobs for those along the alignment in addition to the employment opportunities to be generated by the badges of the lagoon section of the construction.

“It is going to be a deck on pile bridge, running mostly through swampy areas, and the proposal has been submitted to National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for approval,” he said.

Town Planners, surveyors, representatives of contractors and consultants, civil society groups, youth leaders, transport unions and other stakeholders took turns to make suggestions on the way forward on the project.

They expressed joy on efforts of government that reduced number of properties to be demolished and the planned payment of compensation as well as resettlement. (NAN)