- AFC, J.P. Morgan, Access Bank to fund the project
About 24 hours after it unveiled its plan to construct Oshodi Transport Interchange at a cost of $70 million, the Lagos State Government wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with a consortium of investors that agreed to fund and construct Fourth Mainland Bridge.
The consortium, which agreed to fund and construct the bridge at N844 billion comprise Visible Asset Limited, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Hi-tech Construction Limited, J.P. Morgan, Eldorado Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Westminster Dredging and Marine, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and Access Bank.
Designed to cover a distance of 38 kilometres, the project will be constructed under a build, operate and transfer (BOT) concession and the state’s public-private partnership programme for a period of 40 years.
The agreement was signed at the State House, Alausa, by assigned representatives of all corporate organisations making up the consortium that partnered to construct the bridge deemed to be the longest anywhere.
The signatories include the Chief Investment Officer, Africa Finance Corporation, Mr. Andrew Alli; Group Managing Director OF Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe and Executive Chairman, Visible Assets Limited, Mr. Idowu Iluyomade, Senior Country Officer, J.P. Morgan Nigeria, Mr. Tosin Adewuyi and Consultant, Advanced Engineering Consultants, Mr. Ger Horgan.
After signing the agreement, the state Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, acknowledged that the state had recorded another major milestone with the signing of the MOU to build the 38-kilometre bridge.
He explained that the significance of this bridge “will be fully appreciated if we can imagine Lagos of today without 3rd Mainland Bridge. Almost 30 years after 3rd Mainland Bridge was built, the state has experienced phenomenal growth to become a megalopolis with a population of over 21 million.”
The governor noted that the increase in the population of the state and expanded commercial activity “has led to frequent traffic congestion. This has made it imperative for us to construct 4th Mainland Bridge that will serve as an alternative route to the Eastern axis and decongest traffic in the state.”
More importantly, the governor explained the this bridge would definitely provide the required transportation complement to the rapidly growing industrial activities on the Eti-Osa -Lekki-Epe corridor of the state.
He explained that the proposed alignment “passes through Lekki, Langbasa and Baiyeiku towns along the shoreline of the Lagos Lagoon estuaries, further running through Igbogbo River Basin and crossing the Lagos Lagoon estuaries to Itamaga Area in Ikorodu.
“It then crosses Itoikin road and Ikorodu-Sagamu road to connect Isawo inward Lagos-Ibadan expressway at Ojodu Berger axis. The bridge would be made up of 8 interchanges to facilitate effective interconnectivity between different parts of the state.”
The governor added that the structure “will be a four-lane dual carriageway with each comprising three lanes and two metres hard shoulder on each side, while the bridge will be constructed to have a generous median to allow for both future carriageway expansion and light rail facility.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that huge benefits will be derived from this project but most importantly, it will make life more comfortable for Lagosians. We have started the process with the signing of this MoU which is an expression of the commitment of major stakeholders, including the government and the consortium of consultants and investors to the delivery of the project within the scheduled time frame.”
Speaking after signing the agreement, Horgan said the initial cost of the project operational from 2016 to 2021 was N844 billion, noting that the follow-up 10-year programme for “structural pavement” repair of the project between 2018 and 2033 is put at N5 billion.
According to him, to add overlay plus line and refurbish beforehand back between 2055 and 2061 would cost N10 billion while five years refresh programme of work along the route between 2030 and 2061 is put at N19 billion, saying that annual operating cost between 2021 to 2061 is N20 billion.
Cumulatively, Horgan, a consultant at Advanced Engineering Consultants, noted that the entire project cost “is put at N844 billion, while the bridge will have three tow plazas for the collection of tows.”
Iluyomade, who pioneered the project, commended the state government for giving the consortiums the opportunity to handle it, saying with all things in place, the project would be completed in three years.
He assured that the Fourth Mainland Bridge project “is achievable. The infrastructure is so critical that it has a very high social returns. It will create jobs and reduce traffic gridlock in Lagos metropolis. At the end of the 40-year concession, the project would be handed over to the Lagos State Government.