Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is in the twilight of his stint as the Governor of Lagos state.
Mixed opinions have been expressed about his performance as the administrator of Nigeria’s seat of commerce.
Interestingly, he has been recognized consistently as Nigeria’s Best-Performing governor. However, all that would change dramatically when it became public knowledge that he had fallen out of favour with the supreme authorities in Lagos state.
Today, Governor Ambode is exiting the reins of authority in Lagos, not necessarily for his lack of performance – but primarily for his sin of not “being a party man”.
Today, instead of bowing out in a blaze of glory, he is exiting the state as a subject of scorn.
Indeed, like every public administrator, he failed in some areas. However, and unarguably, he scored high in certain areas especially in the transport sector.
Autojosh highlights some some projects in the transport sector that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode would be remembered for in Lagos state.
The restriction of the FRSC and VIO From Lagos State Roads
In May 2017, Akinwunmi Ambode ordered the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) to stay permanently off Lagos state-owned roads . The Governor also instructed the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to limit its operations to the fringes and highways and stay clear from the main streets of the State.
The governor gave the order due to widespread public complaints about the high-handedness and over-zealousness of some VIOs and FRSC officials.
Second Ojota Pedestrian Bridge
In March 2017, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode commissioned the second pedestrian Bridge at Ojota, in Kosofe Local Government area of Lagos state.
The second bridge became pertinent following the construction of the barricade of the median around Ojota which puts enormous pressure on the old bridge. The bridge was constructed with a combination of steel and concrete.
Cleanup Of Illegal Motor Parks Under Bridges
In September 2017, the Ambode-led government announced the commencement of the clamp down on illegal bus and cab parks under bridges in the state. The initial places to be affected included the Ojuelegba and Ikeja Bridges.
According the government, “activities of these illegal motor parks are contributing to the traffic gridlock across the state. “No responsible and responsive government will tolerate criminal activities being carried out by hoodlums and miscreants around these illegal parks.
TBS Bus Terminal
One of the first major transport infrastructure to be constructed by the Ambode administration is the imposing Tafewa Balewa Square (TBS) bus terminal at Onikan, Lagos Island.
The TBS bus terminal is a clear mix of elegance and functionality.
The Bus terminal features a very sophisticated sitting arena, dedicated driveways, ticketing booths for various destinations, CCTV coverage, Taxi Park, large screen display, covered stands, terminal offices, etc.
Ikeja Bus Terminal
Perhaps one of Ambode’s most notable achievement is the construction of the ultra-modern Ikeja Bus terminal. The beautiful facility was designed to be part of the infrastructures for the Lagos Bus Reforms Project.
The bus terminus will serve as the hub of all transport activities within the Ikeja Zone. It was designed to serve over 50,000 passengers daily and providing access to many destinations including Ojota, Oshodi, Maryland, Obalende, Agege, Ogba, CMS, Iyana-Ipaja, etc.
The Ikeja Bus Terminal features facilities befitting of a modern bus terminus. These facilities include Waiting Areas, Ticketing Booth, Loading Bays, Information Centre, Food Court, Taxi Rank, Passenger Convenience, Operations Control Centre and an ATM Gallery amongst many others.
The Ikeja Bus Terminal is currently being remodeled to integrate more functionalities.
For decades, Oshodi had the reputation as a filthy, noisy and crime-prone part of Lagos state.
Today, Oshodi is being rebranded by Governor Ambode administration. The aim is to give it an ultra-modern outlook. The project involves the construction of a Transport Interchange. The Interchange will aggregate all 13 city and interstate motor parks in Oshodi into 3 multi-storey bus terminals.
The three floor terminals, which will be 30, 000 square metres for each terminal, will take care of the parking and passenger demand.
The terminals would have standard facilities including waiting area, loading bays, ticketing stands, driver lounge, parking areas, rest rooms, etc.
It would also come with accessible walkways and pedestrian bridges and a state-of-the-art sky-walk to link all the three terminals, introduction of bus lanes, lay-bys, introduction of green parks to soften the environment and proper waste management strategy, fencing, street lighting and a dedicated security team for Oshodi including surveillance tower, CCTVs, etc.
In May 2017, Governor Ambode administration constructed and commissioned the Ajah flyover bridge. The bridge christened “Jubilee Flyover” represents a creative solution by his administration to address the perennial traffic associated with the areas, as well as boost economic activities in both axes.
The Jubilee flyover bridge is intended to eliminate the traffic jam usually experienced on the Lekki-Epe expressway, while the Freedom and Admiralty roads, which he also commissioned, would provide an alternative route to the Lekki/Ikoyi Bridge, thereby, easing traffic at Lekki Phase 1.
Prior to the Ambode administration, Berger Bus stop was notorious for its severe state of chaos and disorganization. But this changed when Governor Ambode rehabilitated the popular bus-stop and constructed a resplendent pedestrian bridge across that axis of Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
The reconstructed Berger Bus stop was commissioned on May 2017.
Construction of Slip Roads And Lay-Bys In Traffic Prone Roads
These action proved to be an effective antidote to traffic bottleneck in some roads in Lagos.
Places where slip roads and lay-bys were constructed enjoyed a new regime of free flow of traffic.
Some once notorious location include the Berger bus stop, Oworoshoki bus stop, etc.
The Abuelegba Flyover is a popular landmark that Governor Ambode will be remembered for. The flyover bridge was intended to be an antidote to the perennial traffic gridlock associated with the area.
The flyover is also intended to improve connectivity with the neighnouring state in order to facilitate economic growth and generally improving the lives of residents in the area.
The Abuelegba Flyover was commissioned in May 2017.
Airport Road Reconstruction
Though a Federal road, the reconstruction project of Airport road at Mafoluku in Lagos state is being handled by the Ambode-led Lagos state government.
The Oshodi-Airport road is a gateway into the country. It connects Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to the Oshodi axis of the state.
Tragically, for decades, that stretch of road remained a national disgrace.
From one administration to the other, the road was left in an atrocious condition – one that begged for urgent attention in order to salvage the nation’s image.
However, in May 2017, the federal government finally gave the approval for the Lagos State government to commence a total reconstruction of the road.
In the spirit of the regeneration and urbanization of Lagos state by the Ambode-led administration, work begun on the project in September 2017.
The project is intended to transform the road from 4 lanes to 10 lanes from Oshodi to the International Airport.
The road will also feature an interchange and flyover that would drop commuters to the Local Airport.
The flyover and bridge ramp, which is currently under construction, is located at the Agege bus stop-Pen-Cinema axis.
The flyover and bridge ramp is designed to unlock gridlock at the Agege-Iju-Pen-Cinema axis.
The 1.4km Pen Cinema flyover and bridge ramp will run from Agege down to the Abeokuta Expressway. It is a key intervention strategy by the Ambode administration to address the perennial traffic often associated with the area.
Construction of 100 Bus Stops & Shelters
In line with the determination of the Ambode administration to change the transportation landscape with infrastructure that would support the commuting needs of over 20 million inhabitants of the state, there is an ongoing construction of over 100 bus stops and shelters around the state.
These transport infrastructure are also part of the grand design in the state Bus Reform Programme expected to redefine the commuting experience of Lagos commuters.
Wire-Mesh Median Fences on Expressway
Shortly after his election as the governor of Lagos state, Gov. Ambode approved the installation of Wire-mesh fencing on medians of major expressways around Lagos state.
Installing Wire-mesh Fencing became necessary in order to ensure safety and orderliness on the roads. Hawkers activities are limited on highways, , pickpockets, robbers and other criminals who emerge from nowhere and snatch valuables from unsuspecting pedestrians before disappearing into their hideouts have also being prevented from operating easily.
Ambode Tackles Traffic Challenge Using Outdoor Advertising Solution
The administration of Governor Ambode deployed an innovative strategies at traffic control. LATIS – Lagos Traffic Information System – is a solution designed to ease traffic congestion in Lagos state.
The LATIS infrastructure consists of Traffic Arches and Sensors strategically located at major traffic decision points providing real time traffic updates /route information.
Commuters will receive these information through 20 strategically placed digital screens.
Commissions 21 Road Networks In Alimosho, Near Lagos-Ogun Border
In April 2018, Governor Ambode commissioned 21 road networks in Alimosho Local Government Area. These road networks are located at the Lagos-Ogun boundary network.
The project include the construction of the new Ikola Bridge (Old Obasanjo Bridge). Other part of the newly commissioned road network include the AIT/Raypower Road. This road was upgraded from a single carriage to a dual carriage road. This was done with the aim of improving its traffic capacity. This road is also intended to receive and distribute traffic through Oko-Filling, Old Otta Road, Osenatu, Illo, etc.
Statewide Construction of Ultra-Modern Bus terminals
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has left no one in doubt about his desire to transform the mass transit infrastructure in Lagos state.
These transport infrastructure are also part of the grand design in the state Bus Reform Programme expected to redefine the commuting experience of Lagos commuters.
Some of the modern Bus Terminals currently being constructed include Okota, NAHCO, Ajah and the Agege Bus terminals.
These are all part of the Gov. Ambode plan to rid the state of notorious yellow commercial buses more popularly referred to as “Danfo”.
Introduction of the 5000 New BRT Bus Project
In early 2017, the Ambode-led administration inaugurated the Bus Reform Initiative (BRI).
Part of the BRI project is the injection of least 5000 new BRT buses on different routes in Lagos before the end of 2018. This is part of the plan to phase out the regime of the infamous danfos from the streets of Lagos.
Yaba Bus Terminal
As part of the Bus Reform Initiative (BRI) project, at least 13 new bus terminals and transport interchanges were planned for Lagos state. They include the Ikeja Bus Terminal along with other major terminals that are currently under construction in Agege, Ojota, Berger, Oshodi and Yaba.
Beautification Of Bus-stops And Under Bridges With Street Arts And Graffiti
In the massive construction and upgrade of traffic infrastructure going on across Lagos state, there are quite a number of people who are beneficiaries of these projects.
For instance, visual artistes are also getting enormous patronage from the Lagos state government. Their artworks are seem all over major traffic hubs across the state. Their artworks and graffiti add to the beauty of some of these newly renovated or constructed traffic landmarks.
Beautification of Under Bridges In Lagos
For decades, under bridges in Lagos state have served mostly notorious purposes. They served as accommodation for many homeless Lagosians.
They also served as hangout for touts, miscreants and people with a tendency for crime. Alcohol and the smell of burning cannabis sativa is also synonymous with under bridges in Lagos.
A landscaping and beautification project is ongoing under major flyover bridges in Lagos.
The New “Danfo”
In May 2016, the Lagos state government unveiled new modern buses that it intends to replace and phase out Danfo and Molues with.
The buses are designed to be eco-friendly, air-conditioned, comfortable, support for maintenance and backed by appropriate workshop which will create job opportunities for Lagosians.
The old Danfos would give way to a more efficient, well-structured and world-class mass transport system that would facilitate ease of movement within the city.
Construction of Pedestrain Bridges Across The State
Across the state, pedestrian bridges are being constructed by the Ambode-led government to ensure the free-flow of vehicular traffic and the safety of pedestrians.
New website to verify vehicle number plates
In October 2017, the Ambode-led government launched a new website it called “Motor Vehicle Registration Search”:.
This website is intended to help to verify vehicle number plates..
The site can be accessed at http://www.lsmvaapvs.org/
Construction of Oyingbo BRT Park Lagos
Tinubu Square Renovation And Upgrade
In January 2017, Governor Ambode commissioned the newly upgraded the Tinubu Square. The upgrade of the square – especially the central monument fountain – was informed by the need to upgrade it to a level that befits the status of Lagos Central Business District.
Tinubu Square is located at a key transport hub in Lagos Island, Lagos.
According to Ambode, “It is part of the plan of this administration to develop the Marina and Onikan axis to world class tourist destinations,”.
Lagos Commissions Eight New Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centers
In May 2018, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode commissioned eight new computerized vehicle inspection centers in addition to the 10 available centers across the state.
According to Ambode, “The opening of the centers was aimed at ensuring that vehicles plying Lagos roads meet international standard as well as ensure drastic reduction in road carnage”.
The eight new centers are spread across locations in Oko-Oba, Ayobo – Iyana-Ipaja, Oko-Afo, Badagry, PWD, Gbagada, Agric-Isawo and Epe. This newly commissioned centers joined the Ojodu and Odogunyan-Ikorodu centers earlier commissioned in April 2017.
With the centers in place, the Ambode-led government plans to completely eradicate physical inspection of vehicles while the issuance of road worthiness certificate would be hinged on the inspection of vehicles at any of the testing center.
The Proposed Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT Route
The Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration is currently constructing the Phase 1 of the BRT lane along the Abeokuta-Oshodi expressway. The project will span 14 kilometres – from Oshodi to Abule-Egba,
The Oshodi-Ebule-Egba route is one of the highest traffic corridors in West Africa.
The intention of the BRT project on that route is to ease commuting by residents around t that axis. The project include 14 pedestrian bridges in all proposed 14 bus stations.
His government is working towards delivering it before his exit as Governor of Lagos state,
Urban Regeneration Of Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ikeja G.R.A
In May 2018, the Lagos State Government commenced the urban regeneration of Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja G.R.A, with the unveiling of 45 new road construction equipment and commissioning of newly interlocked road in Lekki.
The equipment, including three road printers and three giant wheel leaders, were unveiled after a public demonstration to the media and government functionaries to complete the construction of interlocked road in Joseph Hotounu Street, Lekki.
According to the Ambode-government, the paving stone machines and road printers were acquired to basically construct roads that would last longer considering the state of the Lagos environment being waterlogged.
Transform Oworonshoki To Transport, Entertainment Hub
In August 2017, the Lagos State Government outlined plans to transform the blighted areas of Oworonshoki Waterfront into one of the biggest transportation, tourism and entertainment hubs in Nigeria.
The project is intended to improve the aesthetics and security of the environment, while attracting investments in water transportation and boosting socio-economic activities in the axis, with the provision of shopping malls and related infrastructures.
The project is also part of efforts by the State Government to revitalise and augment inter-modal system of water, rail and road transportation and housing development. The Epe, Badagry and Mile 2 waterfronts have also been earmarked in the Master Plan for similar regeneration.
Commissioning of Ultra Modern Ferry And Headquarters of the LASWA
In August 2018, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode commissioned an ultra modern Ferry Terminal and the Headquarters of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) in Falomo area of the State. This is in furtherance of the commitment to develop the water transportation system – an integral component of the Lagos State Multi-Modal Transport System –
Part of the the Lagos State Multi-Modal Transport System in the provision of water transportation infrastructure especially the rehabilitation of existing and construction of new Jetties; purchase of two clearing machines with navigational equipment to tackle the challenges posed by water hyacinth and the ongoing installation of safety signs for routes demarcation, among others.
The Lagos State Government through LSDPC and LASWA, entered into a Public Private Partnership agreement with MTN Nigeria to build a world class ferry terminal and multi-level car park at Falomo. The seven-storey car park will serve the MTN for a number of years and would thereafter revert to LSDPC.
All of these are part of a grand plan to harness the potentials of water transport sector for the overall benefit of residents.
Ambode Completes 450 Roads, 50 Other Impactful Projects During His Tenure
Within 4 years of his administration, Governor Ambode would have completed over 450 road in Lagos state together with other key transport-related infrastructure.
Some of the road projects delivered by the Ambode-led government include modern bus terminals, pedestrian bridges, laybys and slip roads, etc.
Some of the roads constructed include the adjoining roads connecting new flyover bridges in Lagos ( Abule Egba and Ajah roundabout) with signalized intersection and also rehabilitated Freedom Road and Admiralty Road in Lekki; completed 21 Lagos-Ogun boundary roads with two bridges; constructed Aradagun-Iworo-Ajido Bridge in Badagry; rehabilitated and upgraded arterial roads in Epe and Omotayo Banwo/Kola Iyaomolere Road, as well as Alapere Road and Junction Improvement Works in Ketu, five new pedestrian bridges, among others.
Ongoing projects to include Odo-Ottin-Mojoda (Epe-Ijebu-Ode Road); Poka-Araga Road, Busola Durosi-Etti Road in Eti-Osa; Ladipo Street, Alhaji Akinwunmi Street and Obagun Avenue in Mushin; Irede Road in Amuwo-Odofin; Aradagun-Imeke-Iworo-Ajido-Epe Road with bridge; Airport Road in Ikeja; network of roads in Soluyi Community in Kosofe; Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road in Ikorodu; Ilaje Road and Odunsi Street in Somolu; Agric-Isawo-Konu-Arepo to link Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; flyover and signalized intersections at Pen Cinema in Agege; facility management/maintenance and beatification of Lekki Expressway; J.K Randle Centre for Yoruba History and Culture and nine additional footbridges, among others.
Other ongoing projects include Odo-Ottin-Mojoda (Epe-Ijebu-Ode Road); Poka-Araga Road, Busola Durosi-Etti Road in Eti-Osa; Ladipo Street, Alhaji Akinwunmi Street and Obagun Avenue in Mushin; Irede Road in Amuwo-Odofin; Aradagun-Imeke-Iworo-Ajido-Epe Road with bridge; Airport Road in Ikeja; network of roads in Soluyi Community in Kosofe; Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road in Ikorodu; Ilaje Road and Odunsi Street in Somolu; Agric-Isawo-Konu-Arepo to link Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; flyover and signalized intersections at Pen Cinema in Agege; facility management/maintenance and beatification of Lekki Expressway; J.K Randle Centre for Yoruba History and Culture and nine additional footbridges, among others.