Lekki free zone: Construction of Magbon Alade highway begins in May ― Sanwo-Olu

• Gov has made Free Zones business-friendly ― Dangote

Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that construction of Magbon Alade Highway, the ancillary road infrastructure leading to the Free Zones in Ibeju Lekki will kick off in the next two months.

The governor made this disclosure to very excited community leaders in the axis when he and members of the State’s Executive Council visited the Dangote Refinery, which is the biggest single refinery in the world, and Petrochemical facilities, the second largest in the world, on Saturday, the second day of his working tour of Free Trade Zone in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos.

The carriageway extends from Lekki-Epe Expressway into the Free Trade Zone area, covering several kilometres, with its rehabilitation being a partnership between the Lagos State government and the Dangote Group.

Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and the Group’s Executive Director on Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Mr Devakumar Edwin, personally led the state government’s team on the excursion.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who spoke with newsmen after the five-hour tour of the facilities and a private discussion between him and Dangote where they agreed on the timeline for the kick of the road project, said the road project was being in place to avert a replay of Apapa gridlock in the area.

The governor, who observed that there had been a huge improvement in the construction and layout on the entire site between the time he came there in 2019 and now, further disclosed that the state government and management of Dangote had agreed and planned a timeline for the construction of Magbon Alade Highway, which comes to the free zones from Lekki-Epe Expressway.

“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.

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“For us as a government, it’s 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. The government is in place to serve them; anything that will ease business is critical to us.

“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.

This was just as Governor Sanwo-Olu said 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 the feasibility study for the project is completed, adding that the state government was already prioritising the completion of the layout for an airport being developed in the Epe axis.

The governor said the kind of development being implemented in the free zones was one that would create a work-and-live ecosystem.

“In our Master Plan for the free zones, there is a metro Green Line that will come from Lekki. We have done an expression of interest already for the metro line. We are currently doing a 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,” the governor said.

“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,” he added.

Speaking, Dangote noted that the refinery and petrochemicals projects were his largest investment worldwide, applauding the state government for his support to investors.

He said the Sanwo-Olu’s commitment made the free zone to be business-friendly, pointing out that the area would become the hub of industrialisation in the country.

Speaking on the road project, Dangote said his company was eager to commence its construction as soon as it received the green light.

“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,” the billionaire businessman said.

Dangote affirmed that the host community had not been neglected in the construction value chain happening in the free zones, stressing that hundreds of local residents were part of the 20,000 Nigerians being engaged in the projects.

Besides, he 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 is the Catalytic Distillation Unit of the Dangote refinery, which is the first processing compartment in the refinery to distil crude oil into various hydrocarbon fractions.

The Government’s team also made a stopover at the Fertilizer 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.







Lekki free zone: Construction of Magbon Alade highway begins in May ― Sanwo-Olu

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