The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Saturday expressed satisfaction at progress of work on all three sections of the ongoing Lagos-Badagry Expressway reconstruction and rehabilitation project.
Fashola, during an inspection of the highway, said tremendous progress had been recorded beyond where the project was in 2015.
He was accompanied on the inspection by the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederick Oladeinde and other top engineers.
“This is evidence of the commitment of the Buhari administration to our infrastructure,’’ he said.
He said the project is part of the Lagos-Abidjan highway which serves over 40 million commuters travelling all the way to Ivory Coast.
Fashola said that Nigeria had demonstrated leadership by starting construction of its own side of the project.
He said that, construction had reached final layer on 22 kilometres stretch of section three.
“We are in the last 22 kilometres section to Badagry roundabout, on one side, the Badagry bound side, our engineer’s representative said to me that except for the first three kilometres, work has been completed all the way to kilometre 22.
“What is left is just the wearing course that you see is being installed at kilometer one plus 800.
“So, it is just about 200 metres to kilometre 22. This is the part of the road that will be three lanes on a dual carriageway,’’ he said.
He explained progress of work on various sections of the highway, disclosing that sections one and two had been completed.
Fashola said financing for section three was sustainable because NNPC had taken over its funding.
Three independent contractors are working on the highway under the supervision of Lagos State Government, FERMA and the Federal Ministry of Works.
Section one of the project spans Eric Moore to Okokomaiko and is being supervised by the Lagos State Government.
The Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has jurisdiction over rehabilitation of section two which spans Igboelerin to Agbara while the Federal Ministry of Works is supervising section three, spanning Agbara to Seme Border.
Fashola reeled out the economic benefits the project had brought on the Badagry corridor to small and big businesses.
He said it was part of the Buhari-led administration’s programmes of bringing millions of people out of poverty.
The minister said that travel time had also reduced on the highway.
Oba Isreal Okoya, traditional ruler of Ibereko in Badagry, thanked President Buhari for the project, confirming reduced travel time and enhanced quality of lives of residents.
The traditional ruler, however, called for speedy completion of the project so that the communities could reap the full benefits.
The expansion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, a major gateway connecting Nigeria and neighboring West African countries, was conceptualised in 2009 by Fashola’s administration when he was Lagos State governor.
Speaking on the Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta project, the minister said it was being funded by SUKUK and work had begun from the Lagos end.
He said that if people were patient, the work would be completed up to the Ogun State side.
He said three projects, namely, Ikorodu-Sagamu, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Lagos-Badagry Expressway, that all linked Ogun were ongoing, hence the need for patience on the fourth link road which is the Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta.
“Work is going on there (Lagos-Otta-Abeokuta project), if people are patient, we will finish it. Just be patient,’’ he said.
Speaking on the proposed Glo Tax Credit for Lagos-Otta-Idiroko project, he promised to get the updates to ensure completion of negotiations for it to be awarded.
He explained that every stage from design was important for effective procurement procedures.