Economy

Why Fourth Mainland Bridge May Cost Lagos More Than ₦844bn Projected- Expert

Real estate investment expert, Ayo Ibaro, on Tuesday, urged the Lagos State Government to fast-track the construction of the 38km long fourth Mainland Bridge, in view of the inherent risks that may drive the cost above the ₦844bn projected, by as much as 50% or more.
Speaking at a capacity-building forum organized by the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), Ibaru said chief among which is time, as any further delay in the project execution exposes it to the evil of currency risks.
Recall that the Lagos-Badagry road construction cost has ballooned astronomically beyond the cost envisaged over 10 years ago when it was conceived in the dying days of the Bola Tinubu administration.
Ibaru, Chief Operating Officer/Director of Advisory, Nourtcourt, who spoke on “investment opportunities in 2020,” said the 4th mainland bridge project will open a vista of opportunities for the property prices and investment opportunities in the corridor.
The bridge is estimated to be completed in 10 years and will connect Lagos Island through Lekki, Langbasa and Baiyeku towns, via Igbogbo River Basin to Itamaga in Ikorodu.
The bridge for which 39 firms, including Julius Berger, BUA Int’l Ltd., and a host of Chinese firms, led by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), have expressed interest, will be on two levels: Vehicular traffic on the upper level; and pedestrian, social, commercial and cultural interactions on its lower level.
He regretting that the Nigerian real estate sector has a lot of dead capital, calling attention to unoccupied multi-million naira houses scattered across Nigeria, which he believes government call look into with the possibility of imposing some tax.
Such amount he said, could be channeled into the provision of tangible social infrastructure especially children centers, schools, hospitals, health facilities among others.
In certain cities like Port Harcourt Ibaro said, it is the hotels, governments, and churches that are top users of land, thus crowding out entrepreneurs.
On challenges facing the sector, the real estate expert listed construction costs of residential houses, and the lack of social and affordable amenities, among others.

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