Work will resume next Monday on the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway as contractors gear up to move back to sites of various projects earlier abandoned by them nationwide as a result of lack of mobilization.
Work on the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, a major arterial road linking many major cities across the six geo-political zones of the country, has been abandoned for almost two years as contractors withdrew due to legal tussles and funding issues.
But in his presentation on Thursday at the inaugural Buhari-Meter Town Hall Meeting organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development in Abuja on President Buhari’s one year in Office, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the contractors had assured that they would go back to work on the project next week Monday .
He told the audience comprising Journalists and members of Civil Society among others, “Our contractors will go back on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway next week Monday they have told me. They haven’t been paid, but that is what change means; that this government is credible and believable, if we say we will pay we will pay”.
“And this is what has happened with our contractors; on the basis of our credibility we have asked them to go back to site. And this is what you will see in places like Ihiala and few other places that we are intervening”, the Minister said.
He added that in addition to meeting all the contractors, Government has also identified the projects that have survived the budget and has approved them for funding and “in the next few days to weeks, disbursements will start for many of the road projects to commence”.
Fashola said Government has also decided now that it would build roads for a purpose, particularly roads that support Agriculture, adding that most of the rural roads that were designed as earth roads, would be changed now because more yields from agriculture were being expected to be transported through the roads.
On the Jebba-Mokwa-Illorin Road, which he described as “very significant”, Mr. Fashola said the significance lay in the fact that farmers move their goods, their vegetables and the likes through the road adding that what his Ministry has done in the last few months was to try to stabilize the road and a few others like it which, according to him, have been confirmed.
“If you haven’t passed through that road, perhaps, you will not understand how significant it is for the prosperity of Nigeria because that is from where farmers mainly move their goods, trucks, vegetables and their cattle. And that is where fuel comes through from tank farms in Lagos to many parts of the North of Nigeria”, the Minister said.
On Power, the minister said his Ministry has set out its road map of incremental power from which it would move to steady power and ultimately to uninterrupted power adding that the whole essence of incremental power was to get power from every available source.
Announcing that his Ministry’s Energy Mix project would be unveiled in a few weeks at the National Council on Power, Fashola said the project has become very significant because of the threat to gas supply and the fact that over 70 per cent of the nation’s power plants depend on gas.