Oshodi Model project kicks-off June first

Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

The proposed new transport design for Oshodi in the heart of Lagos is to kick-off on June 1st.

This was disclosed at an integrated meeting between the Lagos State Government and various stakeholders in the axes.

The state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode noted that the project on completion would transform Oshodi into a world class transport interchange in the next 13 to 16 months.

Governor Ambode said it would go a long way to depict the regeneration plan of the State.

According to him, by the time the project is delivered, the fear of insecurity must have been totally removed from the area, while Lagosians would be treated to the best of facilities compared to any other anywhere in the world.

The meeting, which was a follow up to an earlier forum organized by the State Government through the Office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development to sensitize stakeholders on the project, was attended by leaders of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), market associations and community leaders.

While pleading with the stakeholders to support the project which is billed to take off on June 1, 2016, Governor Ambode said the interest of market men and women and transporters have been taken care of, as they would make more money compared to what they are currently making.

“I am so happy that we are working together on this project. What we are doing today is what we have been planning for long and our plan is to transform to Victoria Island. We want the people in Oshodi to be identified with good and not bad things all the time and that was what made us to decide that the kind of development going on in Victoria Island, Lekki and other places should take place in Oshodi as well. I mean, I find it very disturbing that our children in Oshodi would have to travel to Lekki or Ikeja to have access to good shopping mall. So, what we have decided is to regenerate Oshodi” the governor stressed.

24-hour services
Among other plans, according to the Governor, is the provision of about 800 modern buses which would run 24/7 and would convey Lagosians to all parts of the State in a more comfortable arrangement.

Speaking on the market, Governor Ambode said the new transport interchange would accommodate world class containerized shopping mall with recreation and entertainment facilities, while the existing market men and women in Oshodi would be the same people to be allocated with the shops.

“I plead for your tolerance because eventually this whole thing is coming back to you but we must have achieved so much. You see, Oshodi is the entrance point from the international Airport and it create the image of where we want to go and once we are able to create that image, nobody will ever remember Oshodi in their head for anything bad. The only thing that would be left is for us to ensure that the road from Oshodi to international Airport meets international standard and by that, we would have regenerated that part of Lagos for good,” he reiterated.

Stakeholders assurance
Lagos State NURTW Chairman, Mr Tajudeen Agbede commended the Governor for the initiative, and expressed the readiness of his members to support the government to make the project a reality.

Also, a market leader in the area, Mr Lateef Tajudeen thanked Governor Ambode for the concretized Brown Street in Oshodi, but pleaded that their members should be carried along in the allocation of the shops in the shopping mall.

Cost of project
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Planet Projects Limited, the contractor partnering with government on the project, Mr Biodun Otunola assured that the firm would meet up with the scheduled time.

He said the project would gulp about 70 million U.S dollars, adding that several financial institutions had expressed interest to be part of the project.

Three-pronged approach
Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Mrs Yetunde Onabule had said that the concept of the regeneration plan was premised on a three-pronged approach including Urban Renewal, Environmental Regeneration as well as Transformation and Security.

Onabule said that the new Oshodi CBD would not only reduce crime in the area, but also go a long way to address the environmental nuisance locations and areas of confusion often associated with the area.

“Oshodi in its present state currently accommodates about one million pedestrians daily with about 100,000 passengers daily accessing the 13 parks scattered within the area, while 76 per cent of the area is dedicated to transport and related activities, which led to serious traffic congestion and other environmental issues,” Onabule explained.

She said that the terminals would have standard facilities including waiting area, loading bays, ticketing stands, driver lounge, parking areas, rest rooms among others.

“It would also come with accessible walkways and pedestrian bridges and a state-of-the-art sky-walk to link all the three terminals, introduction of bus lanes, lay-bys, introduction of green parks to soften the environment and proper waste management strategy, fencing, street lighting and a dedicated security team for Oshodi including surveillance tower, CCTVs and the likes,” Onabule said.

Confidence O.