Third Mainland Bridge full reopening’ll spur business, economic growth — Stakeholders

Residents in Lagos and other stakeholders say the full reopening the Third Mainland Bridge will spur business activities and overall economic growth in Lagos State and the country in general.

They spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Lagos, against the backdrop of Thursday’s full reopening of the ever-busy bridge to traffic.

The full reopening came after the federal government carried out months of rehabilitation work on the bridge, to improve its state.

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At a stage in January, the Federal Ministry of Works announced a partial closure of the 11.8km bridge, which links the mainland to the Island, the centre of business in the state

From 12.00 a.m. to noon, the bridge was open for Mainland Inbound Island travels, while those who intended to come from the Island to the Mainland were advised to use Eko Bridge.

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Conversely, from noon to midnight, motorists were able to access the bridge from the Island to the Mainland, while motorists from the Mainland heading towards the Island had to use Eko Bridge.

The timings, according to the authorities, were selected to match the peak period flow of traffic and reduce travel stress.

The measures resulted in congestion on the routes, despite deployment of traffic officers to the areas.

Many expressed relief at the full reopening on Thursday, saying it would create a more favorable economic environment for businesses and residents alike.

The Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mrs Olukorede Keisha, told NAN that the reopening would benefit both businesses and residents.

She said that it would facilitate ease of doing business as traffic congestion would be reduced.

According to her, this can attract investment and stimulate economic growth.

Keisha said that there would be less travel time and reduced vehicle costs.

She noted that with smoother traffic flow, businesses could save on fuel and vehicle maintenance expenses associated with stop-and-go traffic.

The controller emphasised the impact the reopening would have on people’s health, saying that less time spent stuck in traffic congestion would mean less stress and fatigue for Lagosians.

She stressed that this could contribute to a more predictable and relaxing commute that would improve the residents’ well-being.

In the same vein, Dr Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, noted that reopening of the bridge would bring numerous positive impact on the economy.

Yusuf said, “First is the travel time between the Lagos mainland and the Island which will now be significantly shorter. This will impact productivity positively.

“Second is flexibility in mobility between the island and the mainland. During the bridge partial closure, such movements would be determined by the schedule of opening and closing.

“The opening would also ease traffic congestion on major roads connecting Lagos mainland and island.

“Many businesses recorded declines in patronage on both sides of bridge because of physical connectivity issues experienced by customers. The reopening of the bridge will restore such patronage.”

Sheriffdeen Tella, Professor of Economics, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, said the reopening of the bridge would also promote the ease of doing business.

“The Third Mainland Bridge is the main connecting link to the main hub of commercial activities in Lagos , Nigeria.

“The Lagos Island, Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Lekki are the main areas of commerce and headquarters of financial, industrial and telecommunication giants in Nigeria.

” To that extent, the closure of the bridge had hindered physical business transactions and its reopening should aid or promote the ease of doing business in Lagos, Tella said.

Iheanyi Achilefu, a merchant, who sells suit cases at Balogun Market, said that the reopening of the bridge would likely make his business operations more efficient and profitable, while also improving his quality of life.

He said, ” I want to really thank the government for finally opening the bridge for people to use.

“If not for anything, this will help to increase my business sales. Although, the economy is not favorable to Nigerians.

” It will also allow me to reach a wider customer base and the time I spend stuck in traffic will be reduced.”

Prior to the reopening, traffic congestion on alternative routes led to increased commuting times and transportation costs.

Businesses experienced delays in deliveries and employee commutes, potentially affecting productivity and sales.

Residents in Lagos are optimistic the reopening will bring about positive changes.

What do you think?


Written by Nike

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