BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
lagos—Lagos State government, yesterday, said the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge may not be realisable soon because; “With the current plan, 318 buildings will need to be demolished for the bridge to take-off.”
Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze and his counterpart from the ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat disclosed these during an inter-ministerial press briefing on analysis of Year 2014 budget, stressing that the year’s budget is aimed at eradicating poverty.
Hamzat explained that it was difficult for the state government to embark on the previous alignment for the construction of the bridge because of its huge requirements and expenses, adding that the previous alignment which is eight kilometers, will cost the state government N320 billion.
According to him, “And to construct a kilometer of that bridge is about N40 billion, so the issue is that we also need to factor the cost of demolishing the 318 buildings into the project. Alot of these buildings are beautiful houses.”
He expressed concern that larger per cent of these buildings do not have genuine building permit.
“We need to remember that when motorists make use of the bridge, they will need an exit route. And this route will require motorists to drive through a road that will afford them to link at Ijede in Ikorodu and another link to the Lagos-Ibadan expressway,” Hamzat said.
Speaking on the appropriation for Lagos State University, LASU, Akabueze said: “We have N9.2 billion that would be spent on LASU in 2014. Out of the N9.2 billion, N2.6 is for capital expenditure while N6.6 billion is for recurrent expenditure.”
The commissioner added that the state budgeted the sum of N2.7 billion for Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, AOCOED, Ijanikin, Micheal Otedola College of Primary Education, MOCOPED; N1.2 billion and Lagos State Polytechnic, LASPOTECH; N3.6 billion.
He said: “LASU is not funded by the tuition fees paid by the students. It is not possible in today’s world to get quality tertiary education at N25,000. Many Nigerians pay more than that to fund their children’s education at the primary education level. Government around the world spends more money funding basic education than tertiary education. This is to create platform for more people to be educated.”