Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Tuesday inaugurated a 1000-hectare modern satellite city in Epe-Ibeju Lekki axis, projected to create over 200,000 jobs.
The governor said at the event that it would also serve as housing schemes for all the major projects coming on board within the Lekki Free Zone.
Ambode said the unveiling of the project named “Alaro City” was a major milestone in his administration’s vision of making every part of the state economically viable and livable.
He described the development as a dream come true.
Ambode said that the new city was coming on board with major projects in the works in the Lekki-Epe corridor, such as the Free Zone, largest Deep Sea Port in Africa and International Airport, among others.
He said that facilities for workers, investors and the people generally was desirous, hence the need for the initiative.
Ambode said: “The Alaro Satellite city was conceived to provide housing schemes to a broad spectrum of income earners, industrial workspaces, warehouses, hospitality and commercial office facilities, among others.
“The project will not only open up the corridor, but will transform its economic landscape by providing jobs, reducing poverty and contributing significantly to socio-economic development of the state, especially in terms of the GDP of the state in particular, and the country in general.”
He commended the private sector, especially Rendeavour Group and North West Quadrant Company, for partnering with the State Government to deliver the new city.
Ambode said the successful launch of the project was a demonstration of the confidence the Organised Private Sector (OPS) and foreign investors had in viability of doing business in the state.
“The Alaro Satellite City is a strong statement that our Lagos is still attracting more direct foreign investment.”
The governor, who assured the partners of the State Government’s unshaken commitment to the success of the project, also expressed strong optimism that the initiative would be continued by successive administrations, being that it was about creating jobs and scaling up the GDP of Lagos.
He said in anticipation of increase in human and vehicular movement within the axis as a result of ongoing gigantic projects, the State Government would construct a road to link Shagamu-Benin Expressway from Lekki Deep Sea Port, and a 50-hectare truck park.
According to him, the government is aware that the increase in construction and industrial activities is already taking its toll on the road networks and other complementary infrastructure along the corridor.
“In order to forestall future chaotic traffic log-jams within this corridor and avoid similar incidences, such as is being experienced in the Apapa axis, we have initiated the process of constructing the 7th Axial Road from the Lekki Deep Sea Port, en route the Lekki Free Zone to the Shagamu-Benin Expressway.
“The design for the construction of a 50-hectare truck park within the Lekki-Epe corridor is also in progress.”
Ambode lauded the host communities for their trust and forbearance, revealing that the State Government had approved 750 hectares of land as resettlement land for communities displaced from Parcel B of the Lekki Free Zone namely Yegunda, Abomiti and Eyin-Osa.
He said the Lands Bureau had also been instructed to expedite action on the enumeration of the land in question to accelerate payment of compensation and the issuance of the C of O.
Ambode also assured all stakeholders of the commitment of government toward ensuring the security of all investments and maintaining good harmonious relationship between the investors and the host communities.
Earlier, Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, had commended those behind the project, particularly Ambode, saying his politics was about development and economic prosperity.
“I am particularly happy to be here for the launch of this project.
“Lagos is Nigeria’s New York and I am told that nearly 72 per cent of Nigeria’s currencies circulate in Lagos and I am even happier because I like the politics of Ambode.
“Though, you are a much younger person than I am, I can assure you that you have a big future ahead.
“The biggest responsibility of a governor in any country and in Nigeria in particular where we are struggling to build an economy is to develop the economy of the state; every other thing comes after.
“We have to create jobs; there are too many of our young people graduating from school looking for jobs and so, when you find that an investor and a governor are investing and creating those jobs you desperately need, you definitely would put your hands together for them,”Ogbeh said. (NAN)