The Federal Government on Tuesday promised to fast-track the ongoing Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressway project in view of the road’s importance to socio-economic development of the country.
The N22.38 billion contract rehabilitation and reconstruction of the about 80 kilometres road, which is major link to socio-economic growth and international trade facilitation within Ogun and Lagos corridors and as an alternative to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ilorin-Ile-Ife, as well as an international link to Benin Republic, was last week awarded by the Federal Government to Julius Berger Plc.
The Director of Highway Construction and Reconstruction, Federal Ministry of Works, Mr. Olalekan Busari, who represented the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), at the flag-off of the road reconstruction at kilometre zero, Ile-Zik, along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, lamented that the road project had not taken off as earlier planned due to paucity of fund.
Buhari, while addressing the media, assured that in furtherance of present government’s commitment to infrastructure upgrade nationwide, the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road would be completed in record time.
The minister’s representative, who confirmed that government was considering alternative funding source apart from the regular budgetary allocations from Sukuk bond, stressed that the re-award of the road signified a new vista as the contractors had been mandated to recover the failed portions alongside the main work for ease of traffic and to boost economic activities and security.
He said: “Already, the contractors have commenced palliative work on mostly damages portions. The contractors have been asked to immediately address critical sites that have entirely failed.”
According to him, the contractors have been mobilised to site with 15 per cent down-payment, representing about N3.8 billion, while there will be need for complete review of the drainage system occasioned by new development on the corridor, including the BRT road being constructed by Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).
In his comments, the Head of Julius Berger, West Division, Mr. Wolfgang Loesser, expressed his company’s readiness to complete the project within its scheduled time.
Loesser confirmed that the company had mobilised workers to site to carry out palliatives in order to address critical failed portions to ease traffic and lessen the travel time on the road.