Engineers in the built environment have said the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge will boost the economy of Lagos State.In an interview with newsmen, the Chief Executive Officer of Magnificent Choice Services Project and Engineering Ltd, Jeremiah Akinsele, said the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge would enhance the property values in the surrounding areas and boost the state’s economy.
He said, “The benefit of the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge is going to be massive, looking from the perspective of city planning. So, it is going to create a lot of jobs and increase property values. The Gross Domestic Product of Lagos would shoot up.
“The construction would open up new towns and decongest the city centre. This would pave the way for value increase because accessibility and location increase property value.
“In addition, it is going to save people travel time, cost and reduce stress level, thereby, impacting the health status of Lagosians.”
Akinsele noted that the construction would open up the Ikorodu and Ajah axis, birthing the spring out of both commercial and residential real estate, because of connectivity.
He added, “There will be rapid urbanisation in that area, decongesting Lekki axis.”
The Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Ikeja Branch, Femi Adedotun, said road infrastructural development was a crucial catalyst to opening up socioeconomic development in a country.
He said, “I support the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge. It will boost employment generation for the masses, especially engineers during the construction period.
“The construction of the bridge will alleviate the suffering of commuters plying Victoria Island, Ikorodu and Epe and by extension, improve Lagos State roads transportation.
“But if it will not be completed before the end of Sanwo-Olu tenure in office, that might be a big problem because of the changes that normally accompany any abandoned project and taking into consideration the complexity of this bridge project. “
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Fame Oyster & Co. Nigeria, Femi Oyedele, said the bridge was long overdue for development to connect Ikorodu to Lagos Island.
He said, “Lagos has the largest population of people in Nigeria and the smallest land area. This means that the density of people will be higher than any other part of Nigeria as per square area of occupancy by people will be higher than that of any other state.
“Lagos is a megacity with a population of over 20 million people. This population is dispersed, though not uniformly, across places like Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry, Ikeja and Lagos Island. To make Lagos State livable like London, New York, Sao Paulo, Beijing and Paris, we need road infrastructure to connect the different parts of Lagos efficiently.”
According to Oyedele, the needs of modern man are no more restricted to food, housing, and clothing, adding that modern man now wants to transit from one place to another as easy as possible.
He asserted that efficient transport system is now seen as a means to achieve efficient commerce, better health, effective housing and economic lives.
He added, “With the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge from Abraham Adesanya area in Ibeju Lekki Local Government to Isawo in Ikorodu and bursting out after Simawa at Lotto area along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the land and property values of the land and property along the roads, which connect with the bridge, will appreciate. We have started receiving requests from property investors to buy property in this area.
“According to the governor, each side of the carriageway will have three lanes. It is a good one for Lagos State , but the government must also prepare for the urban blight challenges of the development of the bridge in Lekki and Ikorodu.
“People will move to Lagos from other parts of Nigeria, especially from West, East, South-South and North of Nigeria, in search of a better life. What should be our concern now, as professionals, is how the state will benefit from the bridge so that it will not become a bad investment.”
On how to finance the project, Oyedele advised that four or more banks in the state could form a consortium to finance the project.
He added, “Alternatively, get loans from investors, international lenders – World Bank or Paris Club. Lagos State is a credit-worthy state not only in Nigeria but throughout Africa.”
Oyedele advised that the financing of the bridge should be done through two methods.
He advised, “First, the state should partner with investors that can source loans from banks and other sources to construct the bridge and introduce toll gates at the two ends.
“Second, the source of finance could be through the appreciated values of the property along the corridors of the bridge. Since the bridge directly contributed to the appreciation in values of the property, the government must also increase the land use charge of the property in the corridors of the bridge.”
According to Oyedele , the principle of ‘corner-lot valuation’ says that infrastructure provision like roads, drainages and bridges adds to the values of properties around the area where infrastructure is provided.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recently said the construction of the long-awaited Fourth Mainland Bridge would begin in the first quarter of this year.
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