Gbenga Omotoso

Lagos State government on Sunday gave an assurance that by December 2020, the Blue Rail Line project will come on stream and will be fully operational in the next two years from Mile 2 to Marina in its aggressive drive to address the transportation problem in the state.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, said this at a joint press briefing with his counterpart in Ministry of Transportation, Dr Fredric Oladeinde, and others, in commemoration of 200 days in office of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, held in Alausa, Ikeja.

Omotoso also said works were also at advanced stage on the Red Line from Agbado/Iju to Oyingbo, pointing out that all these were being done to boost rail transportation in order to take pressure off the road, even as he disclosed that the construction of proposed 4th Mainland Bridge might soon commence as concessionaires are now showing interest in the project.

According to him, the 4th Mainland Bridge, once it becomes a reality, would “address largely the transportation problem in the state,” adding that the state government had since introduced Uber and purchased some new boats in its efforts to also boost water transportation in Lagos.

“We are trying to buy more boats concerning Uber so that more people can go by water,” Omotoso said.

Also speaking, Dr Oladeinde, while assuring that very soon, Okada operators would be restricted to inner roads in the state as against the what obtained currently whereby they plied major roads and thereby constitutes some nuisance, equally assured that the 4th Mainland Bridge would soon become a reality.

This was just as said the Bus Reform project, which involves phasing out of the yellow bus on a gradual basis was not dead, contrary to belief in some quarters.

“The Bus Reform is not dead, it would soon come up.

“We are bent on starting to operate the Blue Line fully in the next two years from Mile 2 to Marina and then the concessionaires can take it to Okokomaiko,” he said.

Speaking on Adiyan Water Project, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Omotoso, disclosed that the Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu recently approved the sum of N600 million compensation to property owners affected by government acquisition to pave way for the execution of the project.

“Governor Sanwo-Olu has approved N600 million compensation to owners whose properties were taken to pave way for the revamping and reconstruction of Adiyan Water Works,” Omotoso said, adding that the project was being done in collaboration with Ogun State government with work expected to commence very soon on the abandoned water project.

“A very important step taken within the period is the resuscitation of the Adiyan Waterworks, Phase II. The water treatment plant, with a production capacity of 70 million gallons per day, was begun in 2013.

“By mobilising the contractors back to the site, hope has risen for better provision of safe drinking water to more than five million Lagos residents. The project will help to address sanitation challenges and fight water-borne diseases,” he said.

Omotoso recalled that the Sanwo-Olu administration took office last May 29th, 2019 amidst numerous challenges, but said those challenges “are going away.”

He said the poor roads had largely been attended to and made better, while a total of 116 roads had been completely upgraded and about 234 others have work ongoing on them.

On education, the commissioner disclosed that a new primary classroom block, along with computer laboratories and outdoor recreational facilities, was commissioned at Ajegunle, saying the functional school building was not just a model but a sign-post of what to come in the sector.

Besides, he said a special committee for massive rehabilitation of public schools was inaugurated to commence the turnaround in school infrastructure as well as supervise the recruitment of 1,000 teachers for primary school.

Omotoso said this was done to complete what he termed “the three-pronged education strategy of fixing the infrastructure, fixing the curriculum and fixing the manpower through recruitment, training and development of teachers”.

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