The Minister of Works and Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kano Expressways will be completed by April 30.
The minister gave the assurance at the pre-inspection of the completed Loko-oweto Bridge in Nasarawa State on Wednesday.
Fashola said, “I want to appeal to commuters on that road for continuous patience and understanding: it is a difficult project to execute because it is perhaps one of the busiest roads in the country.
“Building through 40,000 vehicular traffic daily is not an easy undertaking, we cannot shut down the road. So, we have to manage and divert traffic for the safety of those involved in the construction.
So, I want to implore that forbearance continues because the deadline we have for completion now is April 30 this month.
“In about four weeks, 26 days, plus or minus, that road should also be fully completed, open to traffic from Lagos to Ibadan, and beyond the toll gate up to kilometre 116.”
According to him, only nine kilometres from KM 17 to 27 of the road will be left out.
He said the 9km stretch would not be completed because the Oyo State Government was constructing a drainage across the road.
According to him, the drainage is necessary as it will help address the issue of excessive flooding and climate change in the state.
“We believe that it is better to wait for them to finish that project, and then complete the remaining nine kilometres, instead of building it now and then having them cut it up again.”
Speaking on the Abuja-Kano Expressway, which is also due to be completed by April 30, Fashola said it was the biggest of all the road projects in terms of scope and budget.
“Abuja-Kano is the biggest of the three projects in terms of scope, in terms of size, in terms of budget; it is 375 kilometres. It encompasses 41 bridges of different sizes. It was the last to start, so it cannot finish at the same time. That is the honest truth. But we have made progress from Zaria to Kano, that is, 137 kilometres, and the contractors tell us that by May 15 that site should be fully completed.
“Then, we have Kaduna to Zaria, which is about seventy-something kilometres. That side of course, they say will be completed on the 30th of this month, fully open to traffic,” he said.
On the Abuja-Kaduna road, another road project embarked upon by the Buhari administration, Fashola said the road would not be finished during lifetime of the administration
He added, “The eye of the storm, the most difficult part and that is the busiest part, is the Kaduna to Abuja side. That has suffered all kinds of delays and it would not be finished in the life of this administration.
It is the most trafficked side. It has almost 40,000 vehicles in the traffic every day. But those are not just the problems; the problems are that the right of way has been severely encroached on between FCT, Niger and Kaduna states. We are working with the governors to help relocate all the obstructions, otherwise, we cannot fully build it. Apart from that, the project is also delayed by the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project. We need that gas pipeline project as a major boost for our energy security.”