Lagos State is set to venture into airline business, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu hinted yesterday.

The state, he said, would soon begin the construction of its own airport in Lekki, a Lagos suburb which is fast-developing on the Epe axis.

Sanwo-Olu spoke during the Lagos West Senatorial District Town Hall meeting at the Balmoral Convention Centre, Ikeja, where he presented the scorecard of his administration to Lagosians.

He presented a catalogue of achievements in the West of Lagos.

The governor also attributed the delay in the kick-off of the ambitions 38-kilometre Fourth Mainland Bridge to funding challenges.

The bridge will connect Lagos Island across the Lagoon from Langbasa (Lekki) to Baiyeku, Itamaga in Ikorodu.

The 2 x 4 lane carriageway, with permission for Bus Rapid Transit Lane and future road contraction was designed to relieve traffic on the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.

They are: Eko Bridge, Cater Bridge and the Third Mailand Bridge.

A one-time permanent secretary and retired Auditor- General for Local Government in the state, Pa Muhammed Hassan, believed Lagos was ripe to own an airline. He backed the governor’s proposal.

According to Sanwo-Olu, the airline business plan had been in the pipeline for months, with the state now finalising the financing model.

“What is being considered is the Federal Government’s approval and operational contingency for the airline,” the governor said.At the meeting, Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, took feedback from residents, who posed questions.

The governor noted that the input from the public was necessary to guide his government’s decision on planned programmes and interventions before their implementation.

He pointed out that his administration had completed and opened 42 new roads projects and two flyovers in the district, with the combined length of the infrastructure spanning over 72 kilometres.

Saying that the last four and half years had seen Lagos taking a leap forward in its socio-economic and development trajectory, the governor said he remained resolute in doubling his efforts to keep the state on the sustainable growth path as his second term progresses.

The event was attended by members of the Governance Advisory Council (GAC), political, religious, business leaders and traditional rulers. Also there were members of the state executive council.

Some of those who spoke include: Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) Bishop Stephen Adegbite, a child disability advocate, Mrs. Mathilda Otitoju, community leaders, among others.The governor said: “Over the last five months, Mr. Deputy Governor and I have been working to put a concise plan together for the establishment of an airline, but we did not make the plan open because of the need to get adequate knowledge about the operational procedures of airlines. The business plan is viable and there is no issue about financing. The conversation has gone to an advanced stage but we need to get the proper information on operations before we go ahead to implement the plan.

“In Lagos West Senatorial District, infrastructure development has been our priority since we came in. Over the last four years, we have completed over 70 kilometres of new roads and over two kilometres of bridges.

“These include Pen-Cinema Bridge, Ikeja Flyover, and over 42 roads we have completed in Alimosho, Ifako, Agege, Ikeja, Mushin, Amuwo Odofin and Badagry. We also have over 30 ongoing road projects which are at various stages of completion within this district.

”The governor said the senatorial district was also the major beneficiary of the intra-city railway development projects of his administration, with Lagos West hosting major passenger hubs of Blue Line and Red Line trains.

He said the new General Hospital being constructed in Ojo axis has reached an advanced stage, adding that its completion would boost access to health care in the district.

To further enhance security and safety in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu said his administration would be releasing additional patrol vehicles and work gadgets to raise surveillance and capacity of security agencies to respond to emerging threats.

He said: “We are in talks with you, the citizens, today because we believe the government does not know it all. The feedback and inputs we are taking away from here will help us to cater for your needs and wellbeing better.

“We will strive to make it easier for you to be law-abiding. It is not enough to say the laws must be obeyed, we must also ensure that the laws are clear, fair and just.

“When people break the law and don’t do the right thing, they make governance a lot more difficult for us. We must discharge our civic responsibility and fulfil our obligations as citizens.

“When we do this, it reduces the cost of governance and saves resources that will enable us do a lot more. While we appreciate your suggestions, we are also encouraging you to ensure that all citizens do the right thing at all times.

”The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, likened the town hall parley to the annual general meeting, which offers stakeholders the opportunity to discuss with the leadership.Omotoso noted that the move was to engender an all-inclusive government in which citizens would have an input.

“The conversation continues with the citizens on the Lagos project. Today, Lagos West Senatorial District leads the way; other districts will take their turns of the Town Hall meeting where they will have unfettered discussions with the Governor,” Omotoso said.

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