The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso has said that a contractor has been selected for the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge project which will take huge traffic off the first, second and third mainland bridges thereby reducing travel time for motorists.
He added that the project will also create about 5000 jobs for young engineers and train students on how such infrastructure is built while properties along the project corridor are expected to appreciate geometrically.
Omotoso, who disclosed this during an interview on “Morning Delight”, a Lagos Television programme on Wednesday, also spoke on the cost implication of the Blue Rail Line. The Commissioner said he had heard some uninformed people comparing the cost with that of Djibouti, Ethiopia Rail Line.
He opined that there was no basis for comparison between them because the Blue Rail Line is the only rail line in Africa that was built across a water body and piling had to be done. This, he said, was not the situation with the Djibouti Rail Line which is not on an elevated platform like the Blue Rail. “So, the cost, the equipment and expertise deployed must be different”, he stated.
Declaring that it was preposterous for people to just make such a comparison and allege corruption in building the rail line. Omotoso admonished the public commentators to seek knowledge and research into matters of interest before they go to the public domain to make false statements about issues that they have little or no knowledge about.
The Commissioner averred that with the commissioning of the Yaba and Oyingbo overpass by Mr. Governor, the Red Line has become a reality, adding that the rail is expected to be ready for a test run in December, 2023. “It is bigger than the Blue Line and capable of moving over one million people per day. The travel time from Oyingbo to Alagbado which takes an average of three to four hours today will be reduced to a maximum of 35 minutes”.
He maintained that the programmes of the administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu are people-focused. The THEMES Plus agenda is about programmes that the people can feel, relate with, have a sense of belonging and the government is committed to their success. He noted that in the spirit of inclusiveness, many youths are in the executive council of Lagos State and that most programmes of the administration are targeted at the youths who form 60 per cent of Lagos population.
Omotoso said, “A lot of investment has been committed to building eight stadia at the same time, a science and technology hub that has placed Lagos in the forefront of Tech hub in Africa. The State has trained more than 6000 youths in acting, script writing and editing to make films and benefit from the huge and expanding world entertainment industry. The building of the Film City in Epe is targeted at developing the potentials of the youth population”.
According to him, to reduce the number of out-of-school pupils, the State has built comprehensive schools that will ensure that young people who want to learn one trade, vocation or another do not need to drop out of school as facilities have been put in place for them to learn any trade of choice while in school.
On investment, he said, the present administration is doing everything to welcome investors, including ensuring access to land and interface with financial institutions have been streamlined and made easy for investors. The population of Lagos is increasing daily and the State must be prepared to provide for it.
“Lagos is ready for any kind of investment. It is an investment haven with a population of about 25 million and growing 10 times the pace of New York and Los Angeles. It has N21 Trillion GDP as of 2021, it has over 15% of Nigeria’s GDP and 16.5% of Nigeria’s non-oil GDP. So it has a huge opportunity for investors to tap into”, he stated.
According to him, the Telecom operators often say that they don’t make the kind of profit they make in Nigeria elsewhere and more than 60% of the profit is made in Lagos State.
The security of Lagos State is a major attraction for many people to troop in every minute of the day and not go back. You don’t hear of kidnapping and bank robbery. The government intends to make available more facilities, gadgets and equipment to operatives to further improve security and secure the State.