Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has been urged not to toll the 9-kilometre Lekki Regional Road project in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state on completion, in the interest of the public.
This came even as the state government assured owners of properties demolished to pave way for the construction of the road, of adequate compensation on presentation of valid documents.
The regional road conceived in the Lagos Metropolitan Master Plan (1980-2000) and identified in the 1991 Layout Approval issued by the state government, is being designed to engender the socio-economic development of the Lekki corridor.
It is also coming as a precursor to the equally long-proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge, for which the state government, in April, short-listed 10 companies bidding for its construction.
The Lekki Regional Road will link Lekki-Epe Expressway at Victoria Garden City, VGC, junction to the Freedom Way in Eti-Osa.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum weekend, a Lekki resident, Sanni Adewale, who spoke on behalf of other residents, commended the state government for the laudable project, saying it was long overdue.
He, however, warned against the continued erection of tollgates in the Eti-Osa community and urged the government to ensure that the road is toll-free to avoid possible clashes with indigenes.
“We are appealing to Governor Sanwo-Olu not to toll this road, because it will be unacceptable to us so that we don’t go back to the trenches. It’s not a threat, it is our right,” Adewale pleaded.
Speaking at the forum, the state Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Idris Salako, said that the road would be a strategic link to circumvent the transportation gridlock from Mainland Lagos to Island.
He expressed displeasure that the objective for which the road was conceived was being threatened and negated by a series of encroachments, as some estates and other structures have encroached on its right of way.
“This has made the state government to approve a reduction in the width of the right of way in the bid to reduce, as much as possible, the level of actual encroachments,” said Salako.
“In view of the importance of the proposed road project to the socio-economic development of the state, we are determined more than ever to bring everyone on board and ensure seamless execution of the project.
“Every property owner, whose property will be demolished, will be adequately compensated upon presentation of valid documents.
“This, we believe, will enable us to fulfill our promise of democratic dividends through the THEMES Agenda of Lagos State,” he said.
Salako added that the government, recognising the link between infrastructure development and socio-economic growth, was passionate about developing infrastructure across the state.
On his part, Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye said that the essence of the stakeholders’ meeting was to aggregate views and secure the necessary buy-in for the speedy completion of the project.
She urged residents of the area to embrace the project and support the government in the bid to make life easier for the people.
Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Ganiyu Ayuba, appealed to stakeholders to assume ownership of the project, cooperate for its execution and ensure the protection of the road infrastructure upon completion.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, said that the state government had been responsive to the yearnings of the people of Eti-Osa Local Government and would continue to do so.
He urged residents of the area to come together as a community and embrace the project, which is expected to enhance the value for property on that corridor.
The Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, Nureni Akinsanya, added that in view of the prospects of the project, especially the expected impact on business and well being of the people, the House of Assembly had resolved to cooperate, as usual, with the government to ensure that the project was delivered within two years as promised.