Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has assured residents that the State Government will not collect any toll at the completed second Toll point on the Lekki-Epe Expressway even as he said he wants to transform the city to tourism and entertainment hub in Africa.
The Governor who spoke at an interactive session with journalists at the Banquet Hall of the Lagos House, Ikeja, at the weekend, said more importantly, his concern is about ensuring the road is completed.
“We must start thinking of the future concerning that road. We said we will have an International Airport in Epe and an Export Processing Zone in Lekki and a Deep Seaport also in Lekki. What does that mean for that road?
“When you take your freight from the Deep Seaport and the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) are we going to make them to start passing through that same road. So what is the future? We missed something between Oshodi and Murtala Mohammed International Airport, there is no fast track rail that can take goods straight to the Airport. Should we also miss that here? Those are the issues that we are looking at.
“Should we not start thinking about how we would improve and create a 10-lane road between Ikorodu, Itoikin, Epe and Ijebu Ode so that people can go out from there? So those are some of the things that we are looking at. There is no point constructing the road, paying tolls and in five years’ time, the road is gone,” Governor said in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna.
On the Lagos-Badagry Expressway which is being expanded into a 10-lane road, the Governor said once the road is completed, the neighbourhood and the axis would be opened up as a business hub for the whole sub-region.
He said his administration will make careful efforts to grow the tourism potentials of the state, noting that a summit will be convened with stakeholders in the sector to explore the potentials that abound in the state.
The Governor said as a way of tackling the housing deficit, the state is considering adopting the Rent-To-Own Policy which would be a follow up to the Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme which was about owning homes through mortgage after 30 percent initial payment.
He said it was unnecessary for a bachelor to own a three bedroom flat, emphasizing that it was better for those in this category to rent studio apartments and later upgrade to more spacious accommodations when they are married and having children.
“There are some people who cannot afford the initial payments but who can move from rent to buying the homes when things improve for them. That is the area where we want to lay more emphasis to allow access for our younger people and lay emphasis on studio apartments for those who have not got married,” he said.
He reiterated his readiness to improve upon the multi-modal approach to tackling the problem of transportation in the state stating that currently 236 operators are licensed on the waterways conveying over one million people per day but is not integrated with the roads, same as the rail system.
“As more means of transportation come on board, the more than 600,000 private car owners and 120,000 motorcycles that are being put on the road in the state on a daily basis will reduce in number,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello said the meeting was convened to express appreciation to the media gatekeepers for their contribution during the last elections through robust reportage of events before, during and after the elections.
He added that it is also an avenue for the editors to know what the present administration in Lagos was doing and what it intends to do going forward.