Lagos Island and the ‘greater Lagos’ train
The ‘Greater Lagos’ train recently berthed in Lagos Island, heralding the commencement of the Lagos Island Area North Action Plan aimed at regenerating that axis of the state. The first phase of the plan began with the reconstruction of Adeniji Adele, Oke-Popo/Tapa roads as well as the new Mercy Children’s Hospital.
The Lagos Island Area North Action Plan is a product of visionary leadership that is committed to building an enduring legacy for coming generations. The execution of the project started with the inauguration of an Inter-Ministerial Committee, comprising the Ministries of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Works and Infrastructure, Environment and Water Resources and Transportation.
The choice of Adeniji Adele and Oke Popo/Tapa Streets to kick start Phase 1 of the regeneration plan was in view of their strategic importance to the axis. Subsequently, the government will move to Idumagbo Avenue, Ojo Giwa Street, Swamp Street, and Anikantanmo Street as well as the popular Pelewura Market amongst others in the regeneration trajectory.
Similarly, the construction of the New Massey Children’s Hospital in Adeniji Adele, Lagos, has begun. When completed, the 7-Storey, 150-bed hospital is expected to be the largest in West Africa.
Established in 1914 as the First General Outpatient Clinic and Referral Centre in Lagos State, the facility was converted to a full-fledged Pediatrics Hospital in 1961.
At the flag-off ceremony of its reconstruction, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu described the project as part of his administration’s ‘Greater Lagos’ vision.
The construction of the New Massey Children Hospital reflects the Sanwo-Olu administration’s unwavering determination to bridge noticeable gaps in the health sector. The construction of the new Massey Street Hospital is necessitated by the inadequacy of the current facility to meet the rising medical needs of the residents, particularly children. The facility is, thus, being rebuilt, remodelled and repositioned into an ultra-modern 150-bed and fit-for-purpose Paediatrics and Emergency General Hospital.
Upon completion, the hospital would provide secondary integrated care services and acute care to both in-patients and out-patients in line with international best practices. Certainly, a new and well-equipped Massey Children’s Hospital would help the State to significantly reduce infant and maternal mortality rate.
The new hospital is being built on 4,000 square metres to create a comfortable environment for medical workers and patients. It will have a fully equipped Accident and Emergency Department and Radiology Section, in addition to general and private wards among others.
Earlier in 2019, while marking his administration’s 100 days in office, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu inaugurated the Mother and Child Centre (MCC) in Eti-Osa, Lagos Island. The MCC is an integral part of the administration’s efforts to increase access of the residents of Lagos Island to qualitative and efficient maternal and child health services.
The facility is a four-floor, 110-bed complex designed to respond to maternal and child health issues by providing quality services for the restoration, improvement and promotion of the health and well-being of women, babies and children in the local government area and adjoining communities.
The facility has two theatres, consulting rooms, treatment rooms, antenatal and postnatal wards, baby nursery, pharmacy, laboratory and offices amongst others.
Lagos Island has also benefited immensely from the Sanwo-Olu administration’s infrastructure renewal strides, especially in the area of road construction. The improvement of the network of roads around the Oniru-Victoria Island and Lekki axis, which was constructed by the government in partnership with Access Bank Plc, is a typical example. The road network project, measuring around 1.8 kilometers, has improved traffic flow, reduced travel time and eliminated the perennial flooding challenge.
The project, which commenced in December 2019, under the Public Infrastructure Improvement Partnership (PIIP), involved the dualisation, expansion, construction and rehabilitation of some roads, junction and turning radius.
It also included the provision of a new drainage system, re-routing some roads as one way and signalization. Some of the roads delivered under the project are Ligali Ayorinde Muri Okunola–Aboyade Cole, Yesufu Abiodun Oniru, and Ligali Ayorinde/Akingbolagbe/Okene amongst others.
The project, also known as Victoria Island-Lekki Traffic Circulation Project-Oniru Axis, was conceived to help manage traffic congestion to the lowest minimal, which in turn reduces air pollution and helps motorists avoid the stress that comes from driving along the axis.
The key outcome from the completion of the project is traffic diffusion, which has made a considerable positive impact on businesses and residents living in the area. Also, the project has led to an improvement in road connectivity, improved traffic flow, reduced travel time, decline in flooding, heightened intermodal transportation and improved health and socio-economic well- being of the residents.
Likewise, the reconstruction and upgrade of the 40-year-old Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway is ongoing. No doubt, the Lekki axis has become a major industrial and commercial hub in the State and, indeed, the country. The Lekki Free Zone, the Dangote Refinery, the Lekki Dry Seaport to mention but a few are all sited at the zone.
Considering the economic viability of the axis, reconstruction of the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway would certainly aid socio-economic activities in the zone, thereby giving investors better value for their money.
The road was constructed in 1981 as a single carriageway, but underwent an upgrade to a two-lane carriageway in 2006. Its condition, however, became deplorable as a result of population growth and increased vehicular traffic.
With the latest intervention by the Sanwo-Olu administration, the entire stretch of the road from Eleko to Epe would be dualised on rigid pavement, with three lanes on each side. A lane on each side will be dedicated as toll weighbridges only for heavy-duty vehicles.
That the government is embarking on such project, in-spite of the economic recession, challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the #EndSARS protest, testifies to the unalloyed commitment of the Sanwo-Olu administration’s desire to the provision of sustainable road infrastructure across the state.
Without a doubt, all ongoing projects and completed ones in the Lagos Island axis will impact positively on the lives of the residents. It will lead to safety of lives; reduce maternal mortality; create new jobs and livelihood opportunities.
The road projects, especially, will eliminate the perennial flooding often experienced in the area, enhance property values as well as stimulate businesses and economic development among the people of Lagos Island.
However, it is essential to implore the residents of Lagos Island and its environs to bear with the temporary inconveniences that may arise with all the ongoing projects across the axis, particularly considering the magnitude of the projects. They can be assured of speedy and timely completion of all the projects.
As the Sanwo-Olu administration approaches the second half of its tenure, Lagosians are assured of more trailblazing accomplishments.
Musbau is Assistant Director, Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Infrastructure Asset Management Agency, LASIAMA.