The journey to the magic year 2020 by Lagos State is rapidly intensifying. According to the current governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, by the year 2020, we expect to see a radically transformed Lagos city which adequately qualifies as the most exotic mega city and fastest growing business hub in Sub Saharan Africa. The city may be navigating in the direction of Dubai in the UAE if the development master plan of the state is anything to go by.
The imperative of development transformations for Lagos state cannot be over-emphasised. Today, available records show that Lagos State contributes about 12% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and leads in the Non-Oil Sector with average contribution of 19% which is equal to the contribution of 13 States put together. Moreover, Lagos State hosts over 60% of the manufacturing/industrial sector, a major driving force for national growth. And most recently, the state has intensified its economic diversification into agriculture and petroleum. Eko is really having so much to bite from.
In what is known as urban metabolism, cities, like animals, need energy, materials, water and nutrients to provide shelter and sustenance, to produce goods and services, to grow and eliminate wastes and pollution. And just as in other places where functional and efficient cities are already well established, there are a number of very critical development actions that the state government must take to realize the mega city vision.
Let’s take a tour of five focus areas of the mega city vision already taking center stage of attention and implementation in the state. They represent critical infrastructure without which these lofty dreams may fizzle out like smoke. These are electricity supply, inter-modal transportation, ICT-powered security and surveillance system, modern business hubs, and infrastructure upgrades. Gradually and steadily, a lot of changes are taking place with their attendant challenges and implications for the people of Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. Are you aware that there are CCTV cameras recording your actions as you move around town? Will you recognize Oshodi if you return there two years from now? It may do you good to check it out as the New Lagos unfolds.
The transportation vision is based on what is known as the Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) which comprises the Lagos Urban Transport Project (LUTP) 1 and 2. It is designed to ensure affordable and efficient movement of people and goods through world-class integrated multi-modal transport system of rail, air, sea and road transport infrastructure.
The LUTP 1 includes urban road network efficiency improvement, bus services enhancement, water & Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) promotion and rail mass transit. One of the land mark projects implemented under LUTP 1 was the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a 22km partially segregated BRT corridor from Mile 12 to CMS.
LUTP 2 led to the extension of the BRT corridor from Mile 12 to Ikorodu and the launch of 434 new Air Conditioned BRT buses in November 2015 by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. The latest approval is the development of the Oshodi-Abule-Egba BRT corridor, one of the busiest bus corridors in West Africa, with 5,500 buses moving passengers per day.
The transportation master plan also includes the introduction of over 5,000 air-conditioned buses to replace the yellow commercial buses, popularly called Danfo, which according to the governor, is no longer befitting for the state’s mega city status.
There is also the blue rail line project, a 27-kilometer project which runs from Okokomaoko to the Marina and is expected to have 13 train stations. The trains are targeted to lift a minimum of 400,000 passengers daily when completed. The first phase of the project is 95 per cent completed, that is from Mile 2 to the National Theatre. The second phase which is from National Theatre to Marina is about 45 per cent completed and massive work is going on there now.
The Lagos of the future will have cable cars and it will be a reality sooner than you think! This is a type of mass transit where rail cars attached to a long stretch of cable are hauled from point to point as the moving cable runs at constant speed. The cable is itself powered by a stationary motor or engine situated in a cable house or power house.
The project will cost an estimated $275 million and will be executed by Ropeways Transport and the Cable cars will run from Ijora to Apapa and Victoria Island. There will be eight stations in three routes beginning at Ijora, Apapa and Victoria Island respectively and with a central hub around Adeniji Adele. The system has the capacity of 240,000 commuter trips daily.
With an exploding population already in the excess of 25 million, the urgent imperative for the development of sustainable inland water transportation cannot be over-emphasized for Lagos Mega-City Vision. Therefore, a well-developed inter-modal transport system where the bulk of cargo and passenger movement is shifted to IWT will be of utmost expediency.
There are tremendous efforts by the Ministry of Tourism and Lagos State Waterways Authority to expand existing canals and channelize new ones in order to extend the inland water transport facilities to the Mainland and Ikeja axis.
Lekki Free Trade Zone
This a very exotic and promising industrial park established in May 2006 as a Joint Venture of a consortium of China-Africa Lekki Investment Ltd, Lagos State Government and Lekki Worldwide Investments Limited. The Lekki Free zone project is aimed at developing, operating and managing a modern Free Zone in accordance with international practice by making full use of the advantages of Lagos as being the important distribution hub in West Africa.
Lekki Free Zone is located in the Southeastern corner of Lagos State, facing the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and the Lekki Lagoon to the north. It is bordered with 5 kilometers of coast line and stretching 50 kilometers away from downtown Lagos city center. This is one strategic commercial zone that is bound to shape the politics and culture of the State most radically as it offers the busiest commercial destination for international trade and investments from all over the world.
Eko Atlantic City/Energy Estate:
Eko Atlantic is a new coastal city being built on Victoria Island adjacent to Lagos, Nigeria, to solve the chronic shortage of real estate in the world’s fastest-growing megacity. It is a focal point for investors capitalising on rich development growth based on massive demand – and a gateway to emerging markets of the continent.
Referred to as the Best Prime Real Estate in West Africa, Eko Atlantic is one of the world’s cutting-edge new cities, and already at an advanced stage of development. It’s a visionary project on a huge scale, achieved by a team of major local and international partners. Eko Atlantic City is creating vital space and world-leading infrastructure, with bespoke development delivering sustainable real estate solutions for Nigeria. It compares to Dubai in landscape and economic potentials and it is designed to host a variety of architectural masterpieces of different categories of utilization: residential, commercial offices, shopping complexes, etc.
One of the fallouts of the massive urbanization is increase in crime and anti-social behavior. It is not unexpected that Lagos State will attract the daring and sophistication of organized crime quite different from those in other states. Responses to security challenges in present-day Lagos must therefore be adequate, appropriate, innovative and all-encompassing.
The state under various administrations has been unrelenting in combating crimes in the different forms and sophistication they appear. It is said that anyone who becomes the governor of the state must be capable of thinking of seven moves ahead farther than the criminals who engage in armed robbery, arson, kidnapping, gang wars, ritual killing, vandalism and most recently terror attacks.
Central to the security efforts of the state is the philosophy of community policing which has informed the various steps taken so far by various administrations of the state. The latest in this direction is the formation of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corp. This security apparatchik is dedicated to securing the inner neighbouhoods and is to work in partnership with the Police, NSCDC, and others.
In order to be optimally effective, these security efforts must be driven by modern technology. The deployment of 13,000 Closed-Circuit Television Cameras is presently on-going at several strategic locations of the state. In addition, there are mobile CCTVs vans operated by security operatives to monitor potential trouble spots where information and events are being relayed real-time to a control center for immediate appropriate actions.
24-7 Electricity Supply
If all the above megacity dreams are to come to successful fruition, modern energy in the form of electricity must not only be available but must also be constant and adequate. Electricity is the greatest motive force for any modern economy. We live in the electric age where industries and infrastructure are powered by electrical energy. The governor of the state, Mr.Akinwunmi Ambode was quoted to have promised 24-7 electricity supply for residents of the state by 2018. Yes, that is the spirit! But this is certainly a very ambitious, tall order going by the present situation of power supply in the state.
Lagos state requires an average of 10,000MW for sustainable economic growth. That is twice more than what the entire country currently generates. As at present, the power allocation to Lagos from the national grid stands at an average of 900MW. Thus the option for Independent Power Producers project has become a matter of absolute necessity. At present, the total amount of power generated from the various IPPs in the state stands at about 60MW, a long way from the desired power destination. . These IPPs supply power to selected government buildings, dedicated customers, and street lights.
Lagos IPP project started in August 1, 199 when the then administration of Senator Bola Tinubu entered into an agreement with Yinka Folawiyo Power Limited and Enron Corporation, an American energy giant, which set up barges of gas turbine at Ijede, Ikorodu, near the government owned Egbin power station. The plan was for the IPP to generate 290MW of electricity for Lagos state government through a Power Purchase Agreement template. However, the Enron Project was stalled due to reasons not far from Nigerian crass politics.
AKUTE POWER PLANT (12.55MW)
MAINLAND POWER PLANT (8.8MW)
ISLAND POWER PLANT 1& 2 (10MW)
LEKKI PENINSULA INTEGRATED POWER PROJECT (6MW)
LEKKI FTZ IPP (12MW)
ALAUSA POWER PLANT. (10.4MW)