Home Opinion Features How Sanwo-Olu is renewing road infrastructure in Ikeja GRA

How Sanwo-Olu is renewing road infrastructure in Ikeja GRA

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When the Ikeja Government Reservation Area (GRA) was created by the (then) western region government with capital in Ibadan, not much was done about the physical infrastructure in the city. Ikeja was part of the western region, not like today that it has become the capital of Lagos State (created in 1967).

The GRA used to be home to the Governor of Lagos State. Today, it’s home to the Speaker, Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly. It is also the headquarters of the state police command, with other police formations situated there. The old secretariat of the state government which is still office to hundreds of civil servants is in the GRA. The GRA is also the headquarters of the judiciary in the state.

In the beginning, several governments constructed streets but they were nothing more than village pathways. Just enough to drive a Volkswagen beetle or AvtoVAZ’s Lada on. No pressure, no population, no heavy duties.

All that has changed. With some parts of the hitherto residential city designated as commercial hubs, many businesses have sprung up. Today, the GRA is home to some of the biggest hotel brands and restaurants in Africa. It is also home to big schools, large affluent estates and companies. What is more, the presence of Chinese nationals in their droves and the ubiquitous Murtala Muhammed International Airport overlooking the mini city means that the GRA had becone more critical to motorists, tourists and traffic.

What did Lagos do? She had embarked on a comprehensive and ambitious urban renewal drive. Previously narrow and basic, the roads are now being upgraded with solid, durable surfaces with extensive drainage systems addressing both functionality and longevity.

When the GRA was established there were no attempts at shallow gutters not to talk of drainages. It was just coal tar on graded tiny streets. Today, every street under reconstruction has two to six metre or more deep drains. The investment in upgrading the city is as if it is newly founded.

For the government of Babajide Sanwo-Olu all he has done is follow in the foot steps of his illustrious predecessors who began the renewal.

Today, notable streets or roads like Sobo Aribiodu – long forgotten but critical artery in the network of roads in the city wears a new, tempting look. It is the same for Sasegbon, Oduduwa crescent, Oduduwa way, Remi Fani-Kayode, Oduduwa street street where the police SPU, Mobile unit, and the iconic Lintas campus are located.

These reconstructions and upgrades are being handled by experienced contractors and they are delivering a beautiful network of roads thereby changing the narrative which used to be in the public space that Lagos State has abandoned the GRA.

The optics are tempting. Little wonder property values have gone up and owners are in for a bloom cashing in the improved infrastructure state of the GRA to make huge returns on investment.

Sanwo-Olu’s determination to leave a legacy of excellence has birthed in Ikeja GRA a conducive living area and an attractive business environment. With this, residents, motorists, workers, businesses and property owners are the happier for it.

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