The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that the construction of the Magbon-Alade highway and other critical infrastructure leading to the Free Zones in Ibeju-Lekki will commence in the next 2 months.
The project which is a collaboration between the Lagos State Government and the Dangote Group is expected to help ease business activities on that axis.
This disclosure was made by Sanwo-Olu, while on a visit with members of the State Executive Council to the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical facilities on Saturday, during his 2-day working tour of the Free Trade Zone in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos State.
The carriageway extends from Lekki-Epe Expressway into the Free Trade Zone area, covering several kilometres.
The Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, and the Group’s Executive Director on Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Mr. Devakumar Edwin, who personally led the State Government’s team on the excursion, later went into a private discussion with the Governor and his team where they agreed on the timeline for the kick of the road project.
What the Governor of Lagos State is saying
Sanwo-Olu, while briefing the press said, “Today, we have taken a five-hour tour of the Dangote Refinery, which is the biggest single refinery in the world, and also visited its fertilizer factory, which is the second-largest in the world. Between the time I came here in 2019 and now, there has been a huge improvement in the construction and layout on the entire site.
“For us as a Government, it’s not to fold our arms and be expecting that all is well in this corridor. We are here to encourage the investors and to show them that we are with them. The Government is in place to serve them; anything that will ease business is critical to us.
“We have met and cleared out few issues around approvals, right-of-way and the infrastructure that needs to come on this axis. We don’t want a replay of Apapa gridlock here. So, we have agreed and we have planned a timeline for ourselves on the construction of Magbon Alade Highway, which comes to the free zones from Lekki-Epe Expressway.”
He added that the layout for an airport being developed in Epe axis was being done, promising to prioritise its completion.
The Governor said the kind of development being implemented in the free zones was one that creates a work-and-live ecosystem.
What the Chairman of Dangote Group is saying
On his part, Aliko Dangote noted that the refinery and petrochemicals projects were his largest investment worldwide, applauding the State Government for his support to investors.
The billionaire said Sanwo-Olu’s commitment made the free zone to be business-friendly, pointing out that the area would become the hub of industrialisation in the country.
Commenting on the road project, Dangote said, “As Mr. Governor mentioned, we are eager to start this project. As soon as we have the green light, we will go ahead with the construction before we even sign the Tax Deductible Agreement on Presidential Order 7. I have promised the Governor that we will start the road in the next two months.”
He said the host community had not been neglected in the construction value chain happening in the free zones, stressing that hundreds of local residents were part of the 20, 000 Nigerians being engaged in the projects.
Dangote also pointed out that the Group had intervened in lifting members of the host community, by donating modern boats for local fishermen, building hospitals, schools and giving deserving students scholarship.
What this means
This will act as a relief to community leaders and residents on that axis will massive investments which includes industrial, refinery and petrochemical plants, fertilizer, deep seaport, airport and others going on around that axis.
The implementation of these infrastructural developments and master plan will help the state government avoid the mistake by the Federal Government which is affecting similar operators of some similar facilities and businesses around the Apapa axis.