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FG to spend N315 Billion on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project

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So far, the Federal Government (FG) has approved about N240 billion for the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, out of a total of N315 billion which is the project’s contract value, it was gathered.

The highway, on which wok has stalled over time, connects Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States, and it leads to various regions of the country. The project has been stalled due to funding problems, change in original construction plan, macroeconomic indices, among others.

The Federal Government had initially made a concession agreement with Wale Babalakin’s Bi-Courtney to rebuild and manage the road for 25 years, but after the company failed to make any progress, the government, on November 19, 2012, terminated the contract. As a result, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, in July 2013, flagged off the reconstruction of the high and awarded the project to Julius Berger Nigeria and Reynolds Construction Company Nigeria at a cost of N167billion with a completion period of 4 years.

The sections of the expressway being reconstructed are section I (Lagos to Sagamu Interchange) and section II (Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan). At the initial concession agreement, Bi-Courtney was expected to expand the lanes from Lagos to Sagamu to 10 and six lanes from Sagamu to Ibadan. It was also expected to build trailer parks and five interchanges among others. The project, which started in 2013, had 2017 as the initial completion date, but was later shifted to the end of 2018/early 2019.

However, the completion period was further shifted to 2021 and in meeting up with the new deadline, the Federal Government granted Julius Berger’s request to close the Berger-Kara section of the road for reconstruction. In 2018, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved over N64 billion for an additional work to be carried out on Section I of the Lagos-Sagamu interchange of the expressway project.

The council approved the sum to cover over 43.6 kilometers, which include pedestrian bridges and toll plazas for the section, to accommodate the changing nature of the road. The then Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had said: “Since its conception, so many new structures: religious institutions, factories, universities and increased human activities, have come up along that road. The inherited design didn’t provide for these at all. The additional work is also to modify the quality of bitumen, polymer modified bitumen, in order to deal with the heavy cargo that passes through that road.”

He disclosed that the first section was being handled by Julius Berger, while the second section of 84 kilometers was handled by RCC. Also in 2018, the council approved N105 billion as intervention funds for 44 road projects in the states. Out of fund, N80.199 billion was approved as revised sum for the second section of the Lagos-Ibadan road project.

The second section was awarded to RCC at the cost of N96 billion with an addition of an approximated N80.2 billion, making a total of N176 billion. According to Fashola, the review was due to a change in the dynamics of the road.

Reported by: Vincent Paul

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