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Sanwo-Olu: Doggedness in upgrading Lekki-Epe highway 

By Uche Nnadozie

The Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, which is nearly five years old, has distinguished itself in the provision of infrastructure across the state – both social and physical. 

One of the many groundbreaking projects that the government embarked on is the now very critical 83km Lekki-Epe expressway. Yes, parts of the highway had been completed before his election in 2019, Sanwo-Olu nonetheless continued the repair, where necessary and improved on traffic flow by amending some of the roundabouts and bad portions along the completed section. 

But the section of the road that has had the best of Sanwo-Olu is the remainder from Ajah to Epe. This is a nearly 50km dual carriageway. The governor first took up the most significant part which is the Epe-Eleko junction spanning 18km. He also changed the scope to not just dualizing the hitherto single carriageway, Craneburg which reconstructed the road did so in rigid pavement with bridges over rivers and lagoons. Anyone familiar with the area will understand that it is not the best of soils to construct. It is marshy, coastal and a very difficult terrain. 

Driving on that stretch with all the activities at the Lekki Free Zone including the Dangote Refinery and the deep sea port can tell why that section was first awarded and completed. Today, the middle section between Eleko junction and Ajah roundabout is progressing to completion. 

In fact sections of that road, especially between Awoyaya and Eleko junction had since opened to motorists and testimonies bear witness to how this intervention has improved economic activities, eased life, brought comfort and convenience to residents, businesses and other road users. 

That stretch is also being undertaken by Craneburg. It is a three-lane (on both carriages) nearly one foot (28cm) rigid pavement. The depth of the drainage system is another wonder entirely. It is so deep and wide it can swallow a mid-size commuter bus. 

Motorists have had cause to praise the drainage system in particular surmising the thinking behind such massive futuristic construction bearing in mind the explosion of residential areas and businesses which would impact drainage channels in future. Lying below sea level, the greater Lekki corridor is notorious for flooding.  Thus, the drains being undertaken by Sanwo-Olu along the highway is critical for the environmental well-being of generations to come. 

What’s more, barring severe economic factors, the road would have completed by now. But feelers from road users and the contractor say this section would be ready this year. 

This will bring to an end a revolutionary road reconstruction project that took off from Ozumba Mbadiwe in Victoria Island through Lekki phase one, Oniru, Jakande Phase II, Ajah and others. 

The amount of work put in in the challenging terrain more than a decade ago sign posted the audacity of the Lagos establishment. The reconstruction of that highway and the construction of many housing estates (both public and private) along the corridor beginning with President Bola Tinubu (1999-2007 as governor) opened up a new window of opportunities thereby birthing what is now known as the “new Lagos”.

The new Lagos thus has come so far and with the regional highway being undertaken by the Sanwo-Olu administration running parallel to the Lekki-Epe expressway – plus the very popular Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway spearheaded by the federal government are indeed the type of turnaround that springs urban renewal and economic development in a profound manner. 

These projects will greatly impact the socioeconomic wellbeing of the people in more than tangible ways. The state and the country at large would be better for it. 

Sanwo-Olu has shown grit in the delivery of critical infrastructure and the soon-to-be completed Ajah to Eleko junction section of the Ajah to Epe stretch is a welcome development which the citizens will remain grateful and proud of.

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