The construction of Magbon Alade Road, the ancillary road leading to the Free Zones in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State would take-off in the next two months, according to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The governor made the remarks on Saturday, during the second day of his working tour of the Free Trade Zone in the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State.
The carriageway extends from Lekki-Epe Expressway into the Free Trade Zone area, covering several kilometres. The rehabilitation of the road is a partnership between the Lagos State Government and Dangote Group.
Sanwo-Olu, alongside members of the State’s Executive Council visited the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical facilities on Saturday.
”Today, we have taken a five-hour tour of the Dangote Refinery, which is the biggest single refinery in the world, and also visited its fertiliser factory, which is the second largest in the world.
”Between the time I came here in 2019 and now, there has been a huge improvement in the construction and layout of the entire site.
”For us as a government, it is not to fold our arms and be expecting that all is well in this corridor. We are here to encourage the investors and to show them that we are with them,”he said.
The governor said that his administration was in place to serve the people; hence, anything that would ease the way business was done was critical to it.
”We have met and cleared out few issues around approvals, right-of-way and the infrastructure that needs to come on this axis.
”We don’t want a replay of Apapa gridlock here. So, we have agreed and we have planned a timeline for ourselves on the construction of Magbon Alade Highway, which comes to the free zones from Lekki-Epe Expressway,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state government would be complementing the infrastructure being initiated in the Free Trade Zone with Green Rail Line, which would raise transportation capacity in and out of the corridor.
According to him, the rail will kick off when feasibility study for the project is completed.
He also said that the layout for an airport being developed in the Epe axis was being done, and would prioritise its completion.
”In our master plan for the free zones, there is a Metro Green Line that will come from Lekki. We have done expression of interest already for the metro line.
”We are currently doing feasibility study required for investment on the rail project. We are also looking at the airport project of which we have done the layout. This is also receiving consideration as we speak.
”What is happening in this corridor is big enough to take three days of our time. The development is about jobs for the youth population and catalyst for the local economy.
”Local residents and other Nigerians are being engaged in the refinery and petrochemicals projects. The government is in a position to resolve any issue in order to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor said the kind of development being implemented in the free zones was one that created a work-and-live ecosystem.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote commended the state government for its support to investors, adding that the refinery and petrochemicals projects were his largest investment worldwide.
Dangote said that Sanwo-Olu’s commitment made the free trade zone to be business-friendly, as the area would become the hub of industrialisation in the country.
”As Mr Governor mentioned, we are eager to start this project. As soon as we have the green light, we will go ahead with the construction before we even sign the Tax Deductible Agreement on Presidential Order 7.
”I have promised the governor that we will start the road in the next two months,”he said.
The Dangote Group Chairman said that the host community had not been neglected in the construction value chain happening in the free zones.
According to him, hundreds of local residents are part of the 20,000 Nigerians being engaged in the projects.
Dangote said the Group had intervened in lifting members of the host community, by donating modern boats for local fishermen, building hospitals, schools and giving deserving students scholarship.
Part of the sections toured by the governor was the Catalytic Distillation Unit of the Dangote refinery, which is the first processing compartment in the refinery to distill crude oil into various hydrocarbon fractions.
The governor’s team also stopped by the Fertiliser Industry and Dangote’s trestles, shoreline jetties, where crude oil will be transferred to the refinery.
Earlier, Sanwo-Olu and his team were at Longrich and Colori Lekki Manufacture in Lekki Free Zone to inspect the processing plant of the Chinese firm.