By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Not long ago the Lagos State Government was more or less forced to declare that it is alive to its responsibility to the people of the state following an alarm raised by residents and motorists on the precarious state of the Igando-Ayobo wooden bridge.
So it came as no surprise when at a recent and an elaborate ceremony, Governor Babatunde Fashola commissioned the first ever cable-styled bridge, code named Admiralty Link Bridge, linking Lekki-Ikoyi axis of the Island. Government did not stop there. It had also on Sunday, June 30, 2013, commissioned the newly installed lighting project on Carter Bridge. This was received with cheers by many motorists and other road users in the state.
The first of such lighting project was done earlier in the year along Ikorodu Road.
But while commissioning the lighting project during his 50th birthday celebration, Governor Fashola stressed that it was part of a deliberate policy of the state government to ensure provision and maintenance of basic amenities for the teeming people of the state.
The restoration of lighting on the bridge and slip roads is expected to enhance safe driving at night, thereby preventing road accidents, improve safety and promote economic activities as well as reduce the fear of attack by hoodlums which, hitherto, was a common occurrence around the bridge.
One of the unique features of the project is that all the lightings are connected to the Island Power Expansion Project, IPP, an independent power source which has its sub-station under the Carter Bridge. This eliminates the tendency of intermittent power failure as is the case with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.
According to the Lagos State Electricity Board, LESB, General Manager, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, the public lighting project is one of the state’s street lighting projects being implemented through the board. She added that the lighting project comprises 156 poles, starting from the Idumota area, to Ijora Olopa and covers underneath the bridge, Iddo Terminus and towards Third Main land bridge, Marina, Adeniji, Ebute Ero and Ofin.
The project also covers all the walk-ways along the Carter Bridge and underneath the bridge. According to Ogunbiyi, this is so “because of the horrendous crime that have been reported under the bridge”, adding that “under bridge lighting will also be used for aesthetics as it was designed to reflect under and on the water.”
Commending the state government on the project, Mr. Abiola Lawrence, a banker and resident on the Island, however, tasked it on strict monitoring and maintenance of the facility.
He said: “It is a laudable project but my worry is, is there any plan by the state government to maintain this facility and also protect it against vandals and thieves?”
Mrs. Judith Akpan, a trader at Idumota and resident on the Mainland also expressed same fear, urging government to put proper machinery in place to protect the facility in the interest of the entire public.