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Lagos to float airline, build airport in Lekki

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Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the state is set to venture into airline business.

The state, he said, would soon begin the construction of its own airport in Lekki, a Lagos suburb which is fast-developing on the Epe axis.

Sanwo-Olu spoke during the Lagos West Senatorial District Town Hall meeting at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Ikeja, where he presented the scorecard of his administration to Lagosians.

He presented a catalogue of achievements in the West of Lagos.

The governor also attributed the delay in the kick-off of the ambitions 38-kilometre Fourth Mainland Bridge to funding challenges.

The bridge will connect Lagos Island across the Lagoon from Langbasa (Lekki) to Baiyeku, Itamaga in Ikorodu.

The 2 x 4 lane carriageway, with permission for Bus Rapid Transit Lane and future road contraction was designed to relieve traffic on the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.

They are: Eko Bridge, Cater Bridge and the Third Mailand Bridge.

A one-time permanent secretary and retired Auditor- General for Local Government in the state, Pa Muhammed Hassan, believed Lagos was ripe to own an airline. He backed the governor’s proposal.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the airline business plan had been in the pipeline for months, with the state now finalising the financing model.

“What is being considered is the Federal Government’s approval and operational contingency for the airline,” the governor said.

At the meeting, Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, took feedback from residents, who posed questions.

The governor noted that the input from the public was necessary to guide his government’s decision on planned programmes and interventions before their implementation.

He pointed out that his administration had completed and opened 42 new roads projects and two flyovers in the district, with the combined length of the infrastructure spanning over 72 kilometres.

Saying that the last four and half years had seen Lagos taking a leap forward in its socio-economic and development trajectory, the governor said he remained resolute in doubling his efforts to keep the state on the sustainable growth path as his second term progresses.

The event was attended by members of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC), political, religious, business leaders and traditional rulers. Also there were members of the state executive council.

Some of those who spoke include: Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) Bishop Stephen Adegbite, a child disability advocate, Mrs. Mathilda Otitoju, community leaders, among others.

The governor said: “Over the last five months, Mr. Deputy Governor and I have been working to put a concise plan together for the establishment of an airline, but we did not make the plan open because of the need to get adequate knowledge about the operational procedures of airlines. The business plan is viable and there is no issue about financing. The conversation has gone to an advanced stage but we need to get the proper information on operations before we go ahead to implement the plan.

“In Lagos West Senatorial District, infrastructure development has been our priority since we came in. Over the last four years, we have completed over 70 kilometres of new roads and over two kilometres of bridges.

“These include Pen-Cinema Bridge, Ikeja Flyover, and over 42 roads we have completed in Alimosho, Ifako, Agege, Ikeja, Mushin, Amuwo Odofin and Badagry. We also have over 30 ongoing road projects which are at various stages of completion within this district.”

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