By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie
The Lagos/ lbadan expressway has finally got a completion date from one of the two contractors handling its construction and rehabilitation, Reynolds Construction Company (RCC). The highway was first awarded in 1974 and completed in 1978. It has gone through several rehabilitation exercises, sometime inconclusive. During an inspection tour yesterday, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, responding to stakeholders’ complaints, ordered tanker drivers out of the road, insisting that their parking on the newly constructed road is part of the reasons why the highway has not been completed.
He asked the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), to do their job and get them out of the road to ensure smooth traffic. “Tanker and trailer drivers who are running their businesses as an enterprise should provide parks for themselves. Nobody has a right to run his business at the expense of others. The government can only come in to partner with them. We are spending so much to build the roads and they don’t mind using the road as their mechanic workshop. Diesel and fuel are not good for asphalted roads that we are just constructing,” he ordered.
Fashola said the project is costing the Federal Government N311 billion adding that even with zero revenue, the current administration is committed to completing ongoing projects including the 2nd Niger Bridge at a cost of N414 billion because of their strategic position to the economy of individual businesses and the nation’s economy. He hailed the decision of President Muhammed Buhari to establish the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund that ensures that projects have unfettered funding.