Stakeholders’, residents worried on projected traffic hell on delivery of Lekki Free Trade Zone, seaport, refinery
By nature, Lekki axis of Lagos State is a peninsular; a stretch of land surrounded by water on both sides.
Ordinarily, the stretch ought to have been only a choice residential area, but recent inclusion of traffic demanding projects including Free trade Zone and deep seaport plus refinery may turn out to be unprecedented hell for residents and by then, there may be no remedy.
Already, the only road to and fro the stretch managed by Lekki Concession Company (LCC) have started being under pressure even as activities on the three major productive ventures are yet to begin.
Even though real the trio are still under construction, investors have started harping on lack of road and other related infrastructure that promote conducive business environment.
The stakeholders who met with Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday last week made it clear that road and limited access may mar the entire scheme if serious planning and review are not done on time.
The Chairman and Managing Director, Lekki Free Trade Zone Development Company, Abiodun Dabiri and Ding Yonghua and the Managing Director of Lekki Worldwide Investment, Tunde Shodade all maintained that the investors are not able to explore opportunities to make their investment impactful and have the needed return on investment because they are being limited by lack of infrastructure.
According to them, having only one access road is a challenge at construction stage not to talk of what will happen after takeoff.
Other problems militating against the schemes as listed include lack of water, inability to take possession of some land and funding. They are however happy that the governor was willing and open to helping them in tackling the issues.
However, Ambode saw reasons with them and agreed that with the ongoing construction of seaport, airport and others, it is obvious that a single road isn’t sufficient for the zone. He maintained that the state government would ensure that the project is actualised, as it was ready to make the Eastern axis of Lagos, the economic hub of the state.
Governor Ambode added that the state would fulfill its outstanding counterpart funding of 15.01million dollars to the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) to improve infrastructure and boost development there.
He averred that “We will accelerate a quick clear of our outstanding counterpart funding for the zone.
“In essence, we expect that in the next six months, we should be having an investment of over 60 million dollars.
“I believe that when we invest our share of the fund and the China Africa Lekki Investment Limited (CALIL) does its own, it will bring a major development to the zone,’’ Ambode said.
The governor who said he was confident that in the next 24 months, there will be a remarkable change in the zone, urged the contractor for the Deep Sea Port in the zone to begin work by the end of April as scheduled.
“The port is very critical to us. We will have more investors if the port is completed. It is very critical to the development of the zone and if not developed, there may not be return on investment made into the zone,’’ the governor concluded.