President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday inaugurated the Oshodi Transport Interchange built to accommodate 820 Mass Transit Buses during a one-day working visit to Lagos State.
The President also inaugurated the Institute of Maternal and Child Health, Ayinke House, Ikeja; Lagos Theatre, Oregun and Murtala Muhamjed International Airport Road, Ikeja.
The President, while giving his remarks, said the project when put to full use would change the face of transportation system in Lagos State positively.
According to him, the new project will allow Lagos residents to move comfortably to their various destinations.
“This is one of the efforts of government to improve infrastructure in the transportation sector.
“The Federal Government had recently approved the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway; while the Lagos-Ibadan Standard gauge rail lines are under construction.
“Our government will continue to provide infrastructure to improve the lives of the people.
“Your government has performed satisfactorily to the people of the state, I thank you for your efforts,” he said to Gov. Ambode.
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State in his speech, said the government had the interest of the people at heart.
According to him, the five projects inaugurated will improve the lives of Lagos residents irrespective of their religious affiliate.
“We believe strongly that the projects will contribute positively to Nigerian economy,’’ the governor said.
Also, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Adebowale Akinsanya, said that Oshodi was arguably the busiest transport interchange in Nigeria with thousands of buses loading from there per day.
According to him, the interchange concept is an effort to transform Oshodi into a world-class Central Business District (CBD).
Akinsanya said businesses, travel and leisure activities would be conducted in a serene, clean and orderly environment.
“It is a consolidation of all city and interstate parks into a three-multi-storey bus park and for each terminal to take care of the parking and passengers’ demand,’’the commissioner said.
MURTALA MOHAMMED INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ROAD
President Buhari also inaugurated the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road, Lagos, to ease gridlock as well as boost Nigeria’s image and dignity.
The president, who unveiled the plaque and cut the tape to inaugurate the project, was accompanied by Governor Ibikunle Amosu of Ogun, Gov. Ambode of Lagos State, Governor-Elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, among other politicians.
The Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road was formerly four lanes before its recent expansion into a 10-lane, redesigned to include two flyover bridges at Mafoluku and the Haji Camp with five pedestrian overhead bridges.
The new road is expected to ease gridlock and enhance easy movement of travelers in and out of the country as well as those traveling between Apapa, Oshodi and Ikeja axis.
Some road users in Lagos expressed joy as the president inaugurated the road which they noted would ease gridlock as well as boost Nigeria’s image and dignity.
The road users in separate interviews after Buhari inaugurated the road told NAN that the old dilapidated road did not portray Nigeria in good light.
They commended the initiative of the new road for both its aesthetics and easy access to the airport.
A freight forwarder, Mr Babatunde Owolabi, told NAN that the new road would reduce travel time and enhance business activities in Lagos.
“This is a world class road, it will allow easy access to the airport and back to wherever you are going. Before the construction, this road used to be clumsy because it was not wide like this.
“There used to be a lot of traffic congestion before today, but this construction will ease movement. I am happy, this is a good project to make life easy for motorists and other road users,” he said.
Mr John Goodnews, a tricycle operator, who plies the Airport Road, commended the federal and Lagos state governments for the new lease of life, saying that the road would remove gridlock and improve security on the axis.
“Governor Ambode has done so well, you need to come out and see these street lights at night, you will think you are in London. The lights have boosted security here because everywhere is well lit at night,” he said.
A business man, Mr Austin Onoruvie, also commended the state government for the project.
“In the past, this road was not the Airport Road we wanted, but this construction now makes the road to look like a real International Airport Road that Nigeria deserves.
“They have done something nice for Lagosians and other people that will be plying this road,” he said.
A vulcanizer at Seven and Eight bus stop on Airport Road, Mr Nuru Taiye joined Mr Sunday Udoh, a commercial motorcycle operator on the Airport Road axis to commend the additional lanes which they noted would ease usual gridlock often associated with the road.
Commenting on the project, Mr Rotimi Thomas, Project Director, Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, said the project was unique because it is the international gateway to the nation.
“The road is starting from the new section of the bridge at Oshodi that is the beginning and it runs from through Apakun, Osolo Way onto the airport. The total length of the road is about 5.7 kilometres.
“The basic features of the road which is in compliance with international standards is that it has three main carriageways, two service lanes on either sides of the road.” he said.
He explained that the road was a two-lane which had been expanded and a U-turn bridge included for ease of access in and out of the airport.
He projected the road to last for 25 years and pledged the state government’s commitment to its routine maintenance.
He added that there was a control access road with service lanes to ensure smooth motoring experience for road users.
Representatives of the Oba of Lagos and several traditional rulers joined other stakeholders to welcome President Buhari to the event.
AMBODE HAS PERFORMED SATISFACTORILY AND WE SHOULD ALL COMMEND HIM
Thhe President commended Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State for a satisfactory job performance, saying that the governor deserved to be praised for his contributions to the development of the State.
Buhari gave the commendation after inaugurating the new Oshodi Transport Interchange; the Mass Transit Medium and High capacity public buses; and the reconstructed Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road by the Lagos State Government.
The President also expressed gratitude to the people of the state for their support to his administration and the roles they played in ensuring his re-election for another four-year term in office.
”Your Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has performed satisfactorily and we should all commend him for his contributions to the growth and development of Lagos State.
”I want to once again thank all the people of Lagos State for their support for our government and our party.
”This is my second working visit to Lagos State within a span of one year. I was also here in February to solicit for your votes. I thank you for supporting me.
”It is therefore with great pleasure that I commission the new Oshodi Transport Interchange, the Mass Transit Buses and the Murtala Mohammed International Airport road,” he said.
Buhari maintained that the execution of these projects had clearly demonstrated the need to continue to provide high impactful projects for the development of infrastructure and opportunities for job creation at all levels.
He expressed the hope that the new transport interchange and the mass transit buses would transform the state transport system to an enviable position.
”Just as this transport interchange with three different terminals is going to change the face of public transportation, the mass transit buses, totaling 820, will move the people of Lagos in a more comfortable and more efficient manner.
”These projects by Lagos State are perfectly aligned with the efforts of the Federal Government to improve the country’s infrastructure, especially in the transport sector.
”To complement the Oshodi transport Interchange, the Federal Government has recently approved the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, up to Oworonshoki and Old Tollgate, which was last attended to over 40 years ago,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Buhari-led administration recently inaugurated the new International Airport Terminals in Port Harcourt and Abuja as well as the rail lines from Abuja to Kaduna, while the Lagos to Ibadan rail line is under construction.
The President reiterated the determination of his administration to continue to prioritise high impactful infrastructure, which would vastly improve the living standard of Nigerians.