Lagos – Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State said on Tuesday night that the state government had not jettisoned its plan to build an international airport in Lekki area of the state.
Fashola told State House correspondents in Lagos that the delay in actual take-off of the project did not mean it had been abandoned.
He said that the state government had already done all the preparatory work on the project and was engaging the right investors to translate it to fruition.
According to him, what the government plans to build is an international airport that will live to its true name and comply with the best aviation standards.
“There are airports and there are airports. What we think Lagos deserves is a truly international airport that can compete globally. And those are not the kinds of airports that government would build and run.
“We have acquired the land for the project, government is fencing the land. We are doing the financial and the technical study of the project.
“We already know what it will look like because we have already done the concept design. We have in fact done all the preparatory work.
“But there are people whose business it is to build airports. They do it for a living and those are the people we are talking to.
“We have done the international bids, seven of these investors have been shortlisted. These are people who have handled similar projects successfully in other parts of the world.
“We are seeking the partnership of these people to instal equipment; scanners, data capture machines and others, and run the airport and keep it functional because it is their core business.
“That is the kind of plan we have for the airports because the state is a centre of excellence and it deserves nothing short of the best,” he said.
Fashola said he would not promise a completion date of the project, but assured that government would complete the airport at the best time possible.
The governor said the project as well as the proposed Lekki Deep Sea Port would create opportunities as it would stimulate businesses.
According to him, the airport is one of the many projects the government is executing simultaneously to better the lives of residents and make the state a megacity.
He listed some of the other projects as the Apapa regeneration project, expansion of Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Ikorodu Road and the light rail project.
The governor said he was satisfied with the progress of work on Lagos-Badagry Expressway and would continue to interact closely with the contractors, to ensure accelerated delivery of the project.
“We are also happy with the progress of work on our light rail project. We have completed essentially Mile 2 to Costain.
“The last terminus at the National Theatre is nearing completion as most of the inner fittings at the terminus have been done.
“We are heading from there to Marina and things will soon take shape there as soon as the contractors are back from their holidays,” he said.
Fashola said the government’s cable cars project was also being pursued to complement other transportation solutions that had been put in place.
The governor said he would leave a legacy of impact and enduring projects at the expiration of his tenure in May 2015.
On whether he had any fears about what governance would become in the state after his exit, Fashola said he had no fears as government in Lagos was about institutions and not persons.
He, however, said he hoped to have a successor that would perform better than him and reduce his achievements to child’s play.
“I hope the next governor would do in two years what we have been able to do in four years, and with that happening, it is going to be to the benefit of all,” he said. (NAN)