… Says Government will complete the road project even if oil price drops to zero.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN has restated the Federal Government’s commitment to completing the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project despite the scarce resources as a result of sharp drop in oil price.
The Lagos-Ibadan Highway is a trunk A road located in the South-West region of the country and was contracted in two sections (I and II) to Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Messrs Reymond Construction (RCC) Limited respectively.
At the interactive town hall meeting with stakeholders at Ogere in Ogun State over the weekend, Mr Fashola stated that Section I of the project was the rehabilitation, reconstruction and expansion of Lagos-Ibadan dual carriageway of about 43.6km commencing from old-toll gate at Oregun/Ikosi-Ketu Lagos and terminates at Shagamu Interchange in Ogun State.
He stated also that the Section ll which is about 84km starts from Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan and is being handled by RCC.
According to Fashola, the rehabilitation, construction and expansion of Lagos- Ibadan dual carriageway, construction of 2nd Niger bridge and the rehabilitation, construction and expansion of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano dual carriageway are strategic infrastructure development projects of Mr. President.
“These Highway projects are financed with the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) funded from the Sovereign Wealth Fund and they are National Priority Highway projects,” he said.
He said that the Ogere town hall meeting was the third, in a series, his Ministry has organized in order to address the critical conditions militating against the timely completion of the projects explaining that this goes to show that the Buhari administration is committed in bridging the road infrastructure gap of the nation in demonstrating an unfettered funding attention to road projects.
Responding to questions from stakeholders at the town hall meeting on the delay in completing the project and other issues bothering on safety of the road users which have become a major problem, he appealed to the contractors to accelerate work to ease traffic flow especially during the forthcoming Christmas Season. He also called on the contractors to build signages and hazard warning signs. “You contractors should remember that you do this work for the people and that you must be passionate in doing it by easing the trauma people go through while on the road, “ he added.
While calling for the cooperation and patience of the road users, Fashola gave a matching order to truck drivers to move away from the road at the Ogere parking point. He explained that their activities along the Highway was constituting a menace to the road itself. “Truck parking operation is a business, you must plan your parking space, you cannot run your business at the discomfort of other people. Park away immediately today because parking on the Highway is a violation of Highway code.’
Delivering his welcome address, the Director, Highways Construction and Rehabilitation of the Ministry, Engr. Olufunsho Adebiyi noted that the Town Hall Meeting essentially was to enable the benefitting communities see themselves as co-owners and to partner with the Federal Government in achieving this laudable project aimed at cushioning the effects of gridlock on the corridor of the Highway.
He added that the initial contract was only for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and expansion of Section l (Lagos to Shagamu interchange) and Section ll (Shagamu Interchange – Ibadan and also the rehabilitation of existing bridges on the road. He stated that considering the heavy traffic on the highway, both contract was changed to include the construction of new flyover bridges, Interchanges and Pedestrian bridges which made the contract sum to be at the tune of N134,861, 785,702.80 and N176, 503,901,413.68 for both Sections 1 & 2 respectively.
While explaining the progress of work on the expressway, the Managing-Director of Reynolds Construction Company Nigeria(RCC) Limited
Mr. Nabeel Esawi stated that work was moving on well, he added that the total asphalt length in both direction of the road is 95km. He promised that the work would be delivered on schedule.
He lamented the vehicular congestion on the road due to indiscriminate parking by articulated vehicles, vehicular and road traffic accidents, congestion due to inflow of traffic during peak periods etc.
Presenting his progress report, the Managing Director of Julius Berger Plc, Dr Lars Richter said the project had been a much anticipated national infrastructure with immense socio-economic benefits for the adjoining states and the entire nation.
He said, ”The Section l (One) has the highest traffic volume in Nigeria. On this stretch of highway not only is there a high way volume of traffic with large commercial activities, but also a large number of commuters who travel in and out of Lagos daily.”
He explained that despite the challenges, immense level of progress of work has been achieved and the target completion date of third quarter of 2022 would be achieved.
In attendance at the town hall meeting were the Minister of Works and Housing, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, Director NSIA, Mr Uche Orji, Representative of Lagos State Governor & Special Adviser Lagos State Governor on Works Mrs. Aramide Adeyoye, and other stakeholders which include, Traditional Rulers, representatives of Igbo and Hausa communities and representatives of Civil Society Organisations.
Director ( Press & Public Relations)