By Abolaji Adebayo and Damilola Kushimo
Oshodi Bus Terminal under construction
The contractor handling the construction of three multi-storey bus terminal buildings, Planet Projects, has promised that the project would be completed and delivered for commissioning in October this year.
Speaking exclusively with Echonews on the progress and scope of the project, the Head of Records and Statistics, Planet Projects Ltd, Oshodi Transport Interchange, Mr. Yomi Solaja, disclosed that the company has deployed all the strategies to facilitate quick delivery of the project without jeopardizing the quality.
According to him, the project was initially bid to be completed in four years but the company, with its expertise would complete and deliver it within two years.
“This project that other construction companies including the foreign ones would take 3 to 4 years to complete, in less than two years, we are going to deliver the project. We started this project in February last year and so far, we have laid over 770 piles underground. The project is not a small one, we are putting the best of iconic legacy behind that the posterity will judge us right because people have been coming around to appreciate this, even foreigners as some of them still aspire to be a part of this.”
Upon completion, Solaja said that the entire Oshodi community would be turned to a mega city as, according to him, apart from the three bus terminal buildings, there would be a world standard shopping mall, accessible walkways, pedestrian bridges/sky-walks to link the three terminals, as well as surveillance tower CCTV gadgets.
Bamigbetan with other Lagos State Government Officials inspecting the ongoing Oshodi mega bus terminal construction
This, as Solaja said, is despite the fact that the project is being done by Nigerians without any input from the foreigners. He added that all the personnel working on the project are black as the company wishes to show to the world that black people are capable of doing many things.
He further disclosed that the company wanted to invalidate the prejudice the foreigners have against the black, saying that the blacks are doing greatly well all over the world but are not given the right opportunity in their own countries.
“We appreciate the opportunity the Lagos state Government is giving to the black indigenous companies. I use the word black because of the prejudice the foreigners have against us. The blacks are doing well but we are not given the right opportunity. For instance on this project, every personnel, every worker is a black, you cannot see a foreigner here.”
It is said that the new terminal construction in Oshodi is aimed at turning the area into a central business district (CBD) that can compete with other CBDs across the world as it has been structured to house various sectors of the economy such as telecoms, banking, etc.
Already, telecommunication companies and banks have been showing interest to situate their businesses at the shopping mall.
Even as the project is in progress, some foreign investors have equally been showing interest in the new CBD despite their initial fear of smooth transport system and befitting structures which is being put in place with the new structures at Oshodi.
Interestingly, to add aesthetics to the architectural structure of oshodi, there is a shopping mall being put in place opposite terminal 3. Even for the tourists, hotel section is being put in place. This according to Solaja is out of the creativity of the company as the company digresses a little from the main structural plan if the need be in other to make the project a worthwhile.
The company’s record keeper explained that terminal 1 would be for inter-state transport interchange; terminal 2 is structured to be a bus terminal for the mainland, while terminal 3 is for the Island.
“It can never be the same Oshodi you know and this is adding value to the vision of “Mega city”. Let’s put the right structure in place so that people of Lagos can enjoy the development, the security and benefit of democracy.
“As a company that believes in the future of this nation, one thing with Planet Projects is that it is not just one of those construction companies, Planet Projects is a solution provider – we look out for challenges and we provide solution. And one of the core challenges of Lagos state is the issue of transportation. So, we are passionate about it and there are no other people that can do it better than those who feel the pain.
“One of the things that are most outstanding about Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is that he is not looking any longer in the direction of the elites, who would concentrate on building airports rather than bus terminal like this.
“One of the fundamentals that we are trying to address in line with the vision of the current governor, the mega city vision, is transportation, a value-adding transportation structure to take care of the need of the people. We are putting up adequate modern infrastructure that can attract investors, which will take care of the needs of corporate organizations as well.
“When the project is complete, it will take care of about 1 million people daily with easy access without stress. One can book a ticket for bus through phone it will reduce traffic congestion when people don’t go out with cars any longer.
“There are a lot of depots around terminal 3 that business entities can take over upon completion. Across the road, a telecommunication firm and two banks have shown interest but by the time we clear that place, restructure it, they will take over.”
Echonews learned that the Ambode led administration has scheduled to build 13 such bus terminals across the state before the end of his second tenure. Already tow have been built at Ikeja and TBS while the third one at Oshodi, which is the biggest is ongoing.
Also speaking on the project during his inspection of the ongoing project at Oshodi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan said that the project is one the many projects lined up to turn Lagos into mega city as conceived by Governor Ambode.
The commissioner, who commended the contractor for expediting action on the project, said the non-inclusiveness foreigners in the building of the project has proved the potential of Nigerians, adding that it has also created jobs for some youths in Lagos state.