September 19, 2021

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Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be completed in 2020 -Fashola

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The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Second Niger Bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway will now be completed in the first quarter of 2022, Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, said.

The roads are part of projects funded under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.

The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway road project, awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria and Reynolds Construction Company Limited (RCC), at a sum of 167 billion naira, was earlier scheduled to be finished in 2021.

However, Fashola, in an appearance on Channels Television, said the delay was due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has slowed construction activities and affected government revenues.

On Thursday, Fashola confirmed all three projects are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022.

“As I speak to you now, we have lost essentially the prime of our working period which is the dry season in the Covid period. We have to regain and recover all of that.

“We have also lost some of our expected revenue plans. At the time Covid hit Nigeria, we were doing 2.59 percent growth rate. Now we are heading for a recession globally and Nigeria will not be insulated from that.

“We are working on plans to bring the economy back on track,” he said.

Fashola noted that while work was suspended during the coronavirus lockdown, earnest efforts were made to resume once the federal government started to lift restrictions.

Some 11 contractors executing 53 projects in 26 states were “remobilised back to site in the first week of the easing of the lockdown,” Fashola said.

“We had to work with the Governor to allow men and materials to move. We also had to develop new safety guidelines for the construction.”

Assessing the efforts of the Buhari administration over five years on improving road infrastructure across the country, Fashola said much had been done with very little.

“Given the circumstances and the results, we have done a lot much more with less resources,” he said.

“With much less resources, we have committed to more radical infrastructure development across Nigeria. So as I speak to you now, we are executing 600 road projects across all the states.

“We are in universities repairing internal roads that have been left behind.

“The Abuja-Kaduna highway is under construction, so is the Bodo-Bonny bridge. Second Niger-Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

“What is the impact? Although we haven’t finished, any road user today will tell you that their journey times have been improved, compared to when we resumed on the major highways.”

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