$70 million Oshodi interchange has been successful, say officials
Lagos has loads of on-going infrastructure and building projects, but the $70 million Oshodi Transport Interchange is a little special- it transformed the notorious haven for miscreants into a massive urban renewal scheme.
Described as one of its kind in Africa, and similar to Victoria Terminus in London, in the United Kingdom, officials say, the interchange is a people-oriented project that would help at least one million residents commute easily daily.
The project embarked upon through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative between the Lagos State Government via Ibile Holdings, Translink Capital Development Limited and constructed by an indigenous construction firm, Planet Projects Limited was completed recently.
Oshodi currently accommodates about a million pedestrians and 100,000 passengers who utilize the 13 parks on a daily basis. Over the years, this has caused chronic traffic, overcrowding as well as an unhygienic environment, according to Lagos State Government.
The concept of the Oshodi regeneration plan is premised on a three-pronged approach including urban renewal, environmental regeneration as well as transformation and security.
Each bus terminal consists of 30,000 square metres and include standard facilities such as waiting areas, loading bays, ticketing stands, driver lounge, parking areas, restrooms among others.
The government seeks to transform Oshodi into a world-class Central Business District (CBD) with business, travel and leisure activities conducted in a serene, secure, clean, orderly and hygienic environment, comparable with other transport terminals around the world.
Officials disclosed recently during a facility tour of the interchange that the redevelopment of Oshodi has greatly enhanced the security of lives and properties in the neighborhood.
Sources told The Guardian that operations at the transport Interchange were earmarked to commence on April 1, 2020, but for the COVID-19, which caused a lockdown and weakened the economy.
“For the Terminals one and two, it was earmarked to start operations on April 1, but because of the Covid-19, we are also waiting for government directives to ease interstate lockdown. Maybe as soon as the President or Presidential Taskforce give a go-ahead for the easing of this lockdown for interstate movement, immediately Terminal one operation will commence.
“Terminal two essentially serves the Abule Egba BRT route and other routes going to Apapa – Mile 2. Right now, the BRT bus operations should start after the commissioning. We are hoping and from the assurances, we have also gotten from the contractor, that in the next one month, the whole construction along that BRT route should have been completed.
“We are believing that if that is completed by next month, tops by July the BRT bus operations should start. But of course these things are dependent on government regulations and other protocols. If government commissions the BRT route, give and take some few weeks or months, this terminal should come upstream.”
They debunked claims that the interchange is a white elephant project. “Terminal three started operations on May 2, 2019, which is one year today. Terminal two would have started on April 1, 2020. If the government gives directives that terminal operations and interstate operations should stop, who are we to violate those rules.
“Terminal two is a BRT service terminal, so if the BRT operation or construction has not finished, there is no how you can allocate somebody else to use that terminal. The same with terminal two, as soon as the BRT route is completed, immediately its operation will start. This project is not abandoned.
“We already had a full agreement with the stakeholders to start operations, but until government lifts the interstate lockdown terminal one operation will not start. Terminal three has moved over two million passengers.”
On the issue of vandalisation, The Guardian learnt that security measures at the interchange are optimum, as the Police taskforce and other security personnel have been on the ground to eradicate security threats and ensure safety.