The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says that Nigerians are anxious to see speedy completion of the Lagos-Ibadan highway projects in order to reap its full benefits.
The minister said this during an inspection tour of the 127km road being constructed by Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and Reynolds Construction Company (RCC).
Speaking at the Shagamu exchange of the road in Ogun state on Wednesday, Mohammed said with the level of works done so far on the project, the road users had begun to breathe a sigh of reliefs.
He noted that the agony, accident, robbery, kidnapping, carnage and loss of economic time to traffic hitherto being experienced on the road had been curtailed.
“We have travelled this road from Lagos axis to Ibadan end, and we are very happy with what we have seen.
“No doubt that with the level of works done so far, travel time has been cut down significantly on the road.
“People used to sleep on this road before, but now you can go to Ibadan within one and half hour and that is commendable.
“Accident rate has been reduced tremendously and people now travel on this road with more comfort and security assurances.
“Armed robbery and kidnapping are easier in traffic, but when it is a free road as you have seen, the menace is half solved,’’ he said.
Mohammed noted that with the ancillary facilities included in the project, like toll plazas, road lightings, overhead bridges, better drainages, pedestrian bridges and flyovers the road users were sure of pleasurable ride.
He said the road inspection was in continuation of the nationwide tour of government projects across the country to showcase the massive work the administration had done on infrastructure development.
Mohammed recalled that he had on Monday jointly inspected the ongoing construction of the Lagos-Abuja speed train project with the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.
The minister reiterated government’s determination to ensure prompt completion of the projects for the benefit of Nigerians.
Mr Popoola Olukayode, the Federal Controller of Works in Ogun state and one of the supervisors of the project said the road was of world standard.
He noted that if the road infrastructure from Abuja to Lagos could be of the same standard with the road, there would be no reason for many to travel by air.
Popoola noted that the visit of the minister was a welcomed development because “it will put the contractors on their toes and make the public to know that government is actually working’’.
He thanked the minister and enjoined him to undergo similar inspections of numerous other road projects under construction by the government.
Our correspondent reports that the minister took a tour of the road from Lagos to Ibadan axis as well as the quarry, asphalt, chippings and bitumen plants of the construction companies.
The project engineers, Wolfgang Loesser and Naor Narkisi of Julius Berger and RCC respectively, assured the minister of completion of the road on schedule and to specifications.
Narkisi said that the project was 58 per cent completed and not less than 80 per cent of the used materials were sourced locally.
Loesser on his part said that the project design was peculiar, with thicker base course and tougher asphalt layers
to prevent rot, caused by heavy trucks and articulated vehicles to roads.