By Sunny A Ijomah
The Minister of Works and Housing, Chief Babatunde Fashola, says the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge will be completed by December 2022.
He said this on Sunday in an interview on Channels Television.
Chief Fashola also said the roads would be tolled, noting that the completion date for the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was subject to challenges that had slowed down work.
‘The expected completion date now will be in the last month of this year. We are hoping that will be done before Christmas and that is subject to a lot of variables,’ the Minister said.
‘As we speak now, somewhere between Ojo, the Oyo State Government is constructing a drilling facility. So that has slowed our work considerably in spite of the fact that the contractor is now working at night. So, just two days ago, Governor Makinde and I were talking, because I called him a week ago, asking him to choose between the drainage or that road.
Minister Fashola, who hinted at the situation of the road prior to the current administration, said the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was in a terrible condition.
According to him, part of the reason the project had taken this long was because of a lack of funding from past governments.
‘Let me also say that over the years, at the time, we took $2 billion to go and pay creditors in 2005, this road was bad. People used to sleep on it. The road is built in sections. That road has no less than 40,000 vehicles every day, so you can’t close it down. So, what we do is to close sections of one side, divert traffic to the other side. Complete about 10/20 kilometers and then reopen it and move traffic back,’ he said.
‘Now what you might not know, and it is important to share this, is that the construction materials likely come from Ogun State. So, whether you’re constructing the Lagos section or the Oyo section, you have to go and move laterite cross tools, and all of that they move in the same traffic. So there are thousands of daily truck trips.
‘And that road is being excavated to about a meter or more deep, so; we’re essentially first removing bad material from unsuitable material, filling up and then constructing the road. So, I don’t think it is slow. What has happened is that over the years, government has not funded it sufficiently,’ he said.