By Okunade Adekunle
The candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for senatorial bye-election in Lagos East, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, has said that the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe expressway reconstruction project would have a greater multiplier effect on Lagos economy.
Abiru, who is the immediate past CEO of Polaris Bank, also said the deferment of Lagos East senatorial bye-election shows a lot of sensitivity to the youth’s agitation against police brutality.
He made these remarks on Sunday when Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu flagged off the reconstruction of project, dissecting benefits its execution would have on the economy and people of the state.
Sanwo-Olu had flagged off the reconstruction project four decades after it was originally constructed by the administration of the state’s first civilian governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
The Governor promised that the first phase of the road project, which will cover 18.75 kilometres from Eleko to T-Junction in Epe, would be completed in 20 months.
After the flag-off, Abiru observed that the reconstruction of Lekki-Epe expressway “is a monumental achievement for Lagos State and particularly for Lagos East Senatorial District.”
Abiru noted that the road reconstruction “will harness the opportunities that we see around here, especially within the Ibeju-Lekki Belt.
“This is where we have the Deep Sea Port. We also have Dangote Refinery and many other companies. For all these companies around this belt, a road of this magnitude will enable us harness the opportunities that we see.”
The APC candidate dissected the economic importance of the road project, which according to him, would create massive business activities and employment opportunities for the people living along the Epe-Ibeju-Lekki Belt.
Even during the construction stage, Abiru said: “The linkages we are going to derive and the economy of what is going to come up are in terms of business activities and employment opportunities for most people around. This belt will be significant.”
Abiru observed that after the project completion, the project would bring about “a greater multiplier effect of this project on Lagos economy at large.
“Its completion will open up this environment and other opportunities we see around the industrial arena here, even rising up to Epe (and to formally optimise the major road networks the last administration did in Epe).”
On Lagos East bye-election, Abiru said the postponement of the bye-election showed a lot of sensitivity towards the yearning of the youths and particularly the crisis that came out of the protests.
According to him, the voices of the youths are very loud and clear. Their agitations are well-placed, saying ” I believe the government does not have a choice, but to live up to the expectations”.
Abiru described the youth agitation as a major reawakening, noting that most of the demands the youths made “are not for themselves alone.”
Rather, he said the youths had largely demonstrated to every Nigerian how Nigeria “can be a better society, particularly with our police force in terms of training and motivation for them. I think it is a cause that is well-placed. I stand by the youths.”