Nigeria, The Lagos State Government has said it will name a new investor and partner for the 38-kilometre bridge/road project before the end of this year (2017). The Contract had been awarded to some Investors last year but was terminated by the State Government.
(BusinessDay) gathered that the Lagos State Government has been digging into the technical and financial capacity of the would-be new investor, to avoid the mistake of the past, which forced it to terminate the earlier contract for the project. The bridge is to be delivered through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
Adebowale Akinsanya, Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, confirmed to our correspondent on Monday, that up to 10 investors have submitted proposals and the state government is getting into the last leg of the process of unveiling a new investor/partner in the project, following the verification of their proposals and claims.
“We have received five to ten proposals and are currently studying them and verifying their claims,” Akinsanya said, adding that the proposals are a combination of local and foreign investors who are excited about the development of the life-changing infrastructure. Among the foreign would-be investors are those from Europe, South Korea, China, and America.
The state government in May this year, announced the termination of the contract entered into with a consortium of investors for the construction of the bridge at the cost of N844 billion, citing undue delay in the commencement of the project by the contractors. The investors included the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Visible Assets Limited and Access Bank Plc.
The contract was sealed in May 2016 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government and the investors for the construction of the bridge within three years. But one year after the MoU, nothing had happened. Akinsanya said the state government this time, had to more painstakingly verify the claims of would-be investors who have submitted proposals because the mistakes of the past must be avoided.
According to Akinsanya, the government will announce the new investors/partners before the end of the year, just as he dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the project is unrealisable.
“The 4th Mainland Bridge is realisable and I want to assure Lagosians that the present administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is totally committed to it. We had to terminate the last contract because of the long delay in commencement of work by the investors. We have learnt from that mistake and we have to get it right this time,” he said.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had announced the signing of the MoU with the formers investors last year, that the proposed alignment of the bridge would pass through Lekki, Langbasa and Baiyeiku towns, along the shoreline of the Lagos lagoon estuaries, further running through Igbogbo River basin and crossing the Lagos lagoon estuaries to Itamaga area in Ikorodu.
The alignment is also designed to cross the Itoikin road and the Ikorodu–Sagamu road, to connect Isawo, inward Lagos Ibadan Expressway at the Ojodu Berger axis.
“This structure will be a four-lane dual carriageway with each comprising three lanes and two metres hard shoulder on each side. The bridge will be constructed to have a generous median to allow for both future carriageway expansion and light rail facility with huge benefits to be derived from this project, but most importantly, make life more comfortable for Lagosians,” Ambode said.