The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has allayed the anxiety being nurtured by residents of Lekki-Epe axis over the imminent traffic gridlock to be brought by the operations of Dangote Refinery at the corridor.
To relieve the residents of the burden of gridlock, Sanwo-Olu said his campaign team had started discussions with Dangote Group and other developers in the area on the need for partnership in constructing a dedicated carriageway for the trucks, which would open to Ogun State.
The APC candidate disclosed this in Yaba on Wednesday during his consultative meeting with members of Favourites Club of Nigeria. Sanwo-Olu was accompanied to the event by his running mate, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat.
The refinery project, which is said to be near to completion, is located in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State. After completion, the residents fear there could be more pressure on the Lekki-Epe Expressway due to the looming influx of heavy-duty trucks to the area, which may compound the traffic situation.
But, Sanwo-Olu said his government would immediately respond to the apprehension if elected, stressing that there would be alternative route for the oil tankers and trucks that would ply the site of the refinery. He promised commuters on Lekki-Epe Expressway would not be affected by the refinery’s activities.
He said: “We have been hearing people saying that Lekki-Epe Expressway would be impassable when the Dangote Refinery starts operation. We are not going to deny that there would be pressure on this important highway. But, we have started to respond to this anxiety and we are already in talks with Dangote Group and developers around the axis to create a new dedicated highway for the trucks that will be plying the route.
“Adding more pressure to the Lekki-Epe Expressway would compound the traffic situation on that road. The sensible thing to do is for us to have another highway for the trailers that will be going to the refinery. This highway should lead to Ogun State from where the trucks can go to other parts of the country. This new route would be a big relief for the residents and businesses in Ajah and Lekki.”
Reducing traffic jams in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu said, is one of cardinal programmes of his administration if elected. He said his government would also welcome ideas from members of the public, promising to implement any solution-based initiative that would engender free flow of traffic in the state.
Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat also answered various questions from members of the club, including repair of arteries in Ifako Ijaiye and settlement with contractors owed by the government.
President of the club, Alhaji Oyinlomo Danmole, said the club does not have political leaning, adding that Sanwo-Olu was hosted in line with the club’s principle of engaging political leaders in discussion on issue of interest.
Danmole said the platform remained open to other political parties’ candidates to share their programmes for the state.