Bidding for the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge will, according to the Lagos State government, begin soon. The opportunities it will offer bring to light the investment style of the late Candido da Rocha.
When the demolition of houses at Moshalashi Alhaja area of Agege started, one of the surviving relics was a warehouse owned by da Rocha, the big Lagosian whose name was synonymous with wealth. His ancestors were Ijesha, who were taken to Brazil as slaves but, after liberation, returned and settled in Lagos.
Dapo Thomas, in an essay he wrote and which was published on this platform on da- Rocha, he revealed the man’s investment style: “Apart from selling water, Candido da Rocha operated a small shop at 12 Kakawa street where he traded in general merchandise which included gold brass, gold dust, imported shoes, brass fittings, textiles and jewelry. He exported kolanuts, alligator pepper, bitter kola and adire tye and dye to Brazil. With the profit from his trade he embarked on a number of capital projects.
“He also saw the value of owning property and reportedly acquired large tracts of land in Lagos especially on Broad Street, the Marina, Customs Street and Agege. The Agege land alone was over 55 acres on which stands a historic one story building, the first of its kind. He built it as a relaxation hide out whenever he went to farm and to possibly make himself elusive to the throng of humanity loading around his Kakawa residence.”
That house, this year, gave way to rail construction being embarked upon by the Muhammadu Buhari government. The crux of the matter here is the investment in Agege, considered a “bush” area by residents of Lagos among whom was da- Rocha. Yet, he saw an opportunity to buy cheap acres of land, kept and sold them later.
Now, the 38km Fourth Mainland Bridge, which will, like a giant anaconda, meander through virgin lands, offers many investment opportunities. According to facts from autojosh.com and published on this platform earlier, “The bridge is designed to be a two-level structure. The upper level will function as a means for vehicular traffic. Its lower level will stimulate and accommodate pedestrian, social, commercial and cultural interactions.” Here, businessmen can move in and take advantage of the lower level that will “accommodate pedestrian, social, commercial and cultural interactions.”
Also, the Bridge would be made up of “eight interchanges to facilitate effective inter-connectivity between different parts of the State.” People with ideas can rent office spaces and outlets for different goods and services.
Now the main cash cow is this: “The proposed alignment passes through Lekki, Langbasa and Baiyeiku towns along the shoreline of the Lagos Lagoon estuaries, further running through Igbogbo River Basin and crossing the Lagos Lagoon estuaries to Itamaga Area in Ikorodu. It then crosses the Itoikin road and the Ikorodu – Sagamu Road to connect Isawo inward Lagos Ibadan Expressway at Ojodu Berger axis.”
Like da-Rocha, people who want to make millions can buy acres of land along Lekki, Langbasa, Baiyeiku, Itamaga Area in Ikorodu, Itoikin road, Isawo and others. Soon land speculators will continue to fall over one another.