WHAT WOULD BE THE EFFECT OF AMBODE’S PLANNED IKORODU-EPE EXPRESSWAY?
Real Estate experts in Lagos have been reacting to the recent announcement by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode that his administration will be constructing a Ikorodu-Epe Expressway. According to these experts, this is simply the right moment for estate developers, investors and ordinary Lagosians in the lower-end of the property market to move into the area in anticipation of these laudable project.
It will be recalled that the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode while speaking at Epe recently, revealed plans by his administration to construct a standard eight-lane road from Ikorodu to Epe via Agbowa, Itoikin and Ijebu-Ode. While saying the road project would be delivered through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to that effect is to be signed in a couple of days, the Governor also revealed that in a bid to scale up the socio-economic integration of the South West region, the State Government in partnership with Ogun State, would construct a top-class road from Mojoda to Ijebu-Ode junction.
Before the announcement, Governor Ambode had initially embarked on massive road reconstruction agenda in the Epe division of the state and the roads reconstructed/ upgraded included Lagos Road (Oke Osho/T. Junction/Aiyetoro Roundabout), Professor Agbalajobi (Aiyetoro Garage/Ita Marun-Ottin) and Oloja Estate (Bature/Otunba Adeniyi/Omotayo/Uthman Mustapha/Adekunle Rahman) roads. Governor Ambode, while commissioning the roads, said the completion of the project was in line with his promise during electioneering to address the challenges of gross infrastructural deficit, flooding and erosion that the people of Epe had lived with for decades.
He said: “It gladdens my heart to see that two years into the tenure of this administration, the dream of transforming Epe and its environs into a modern city is becoming a reality. The narrow roads are being redefined to give Epe a face lift. The network of roads have been complimented with street lights to provide illumination, improve security and enhance socio-economic activities. “This is consistent with our pledge to ensure inclusive growth, where no part of the State will be left behind or neglected. The ongoing infrastructural development in Epe is a foundation for economic progress and development,” Governor Ambode said. He added that the plan of his administration was to open Epe town to local and international investors who would be keen to take advantage of the ongoing transformation of Ibeju-Lekki axis which is currently being turned into an industrial hub.
Aside the roads, the Governor said the ongoing Epe Marina project, when completed, would turn Epe into a world class destination for tourists and adventure seekers.
Giving details on other road projects in the axis, the Governor said work had already commenced on the Phase II of the project from Oke-Oso-Araga-Poka and Epe-Poka-Mojoda road, while the proposed Phase III is the Mojoda to Ijebu-Ode junction road to be delivered in collaboration with Ogun State. Besides, the Governor expressed optimism that the Ikorodu-Agbowa-Itoikin-Ijebu-Ode and Itoikin Epe road projects would provide viable alternative routes to Lekki-Eti-Osa-Epe Expressway which will witness increased vehicular movement resulting from industrial activities at the Lekki Free Trade Zone. “We are optimistic that the future prosperity of Lagos State is secured. The development of the East-West wings of the State is our sure bet to prosperity,” he said.
Otunba Aina Olayiwola, the MD/CEO of Otuns Real Estate and Property Development Company in a chat with EXCELLENT PROPERTY MAGAZINE says this is the first time Epe Division of Lagos State will be having it so good in terms of infrastructure upgrade and for real estate investors who have long turned their eyes away from Epe, this is the time to reconsider their investment plans. “Epe is going to blow. Honestly, it will be unimaginable and for those who already know what I am talking about; they are already moving into the area. In some of these areas, plots are still being sold for as low as N200k and one can only just imagine what will happen when this projects are fully completed”, Otunba Olayiwola says.
Otunba Olayiwola says the can-do spirit of Governor Ambode in setting-out projects and completing them as scheduled is one reason why real estate developers and investors are upbeat about the future of the Epe-Ikorodu axis over the next few years. “Lagos is unlike most other states in Nigeria where projects are hardly ever completed. In just two years, Governor Ambode has completed a record number of projects and the promise to do more from such a dedicated mind cannot be doubted in any way. It is only left for real estate investors to begin to think ahead and move before the market move”, he hinted.
According to Otunba Olayiwola, Epe-Ikorodu Expressway would bring into limelight the potentials of an already viable real estate location. “This is an area that connects Lagos to so many other parts of the country. A new Lagos will be emerging from this area and all I can say is for people to start to be pragmatic. The Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki of this world did not happen overnight. This is the way they also all started. It only takes the thinking of a visionary leader like Governor Ambode to turn a location into a super real estate investment destination of choice”, he says.