The Federal Government (FG) has bowed to pressure from Nigerians by postponing the reconstruction work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway few days after it was reported that further delay would affect the project delivery date.
The partial closure was slated to begin on August 3, but sources hinted on Friday that the closure would no longer takes place until August 5.
However, that date is no longer visible as well, as the government has now fixed September 2 for the closure to enable work to begin on the project.The closure is expected to last four months.
The reconstruction work has continued to drag because of contract imbroglio between ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and Bi-Courtney Consortium. Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and RCC Nigeria Limited were later contracted by the former President. The 127.6 kilometres road is the busiest in Nigeria, with more than 250,000 vehicles plying the road daily.
Nairametrics reported that the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mr. Adedamola Kuti, had ruled out any postponement, saying such would affect the 2021 final delivery date. The road was previously scheduled for completion in 2017 but paucity of funds and the recent review of the original construction plan caused the delay.
But speaking on recent development, Kuti said: “The government and the contractor have now reviewed the work plan. The reconstruction of this stretch of the road will now begin on September 2.
“The intended reconstruction and expansion work of the section between Berger Junction and Kara Bridge is designed to follow the same way. This location has a high volume of traffic and commercial activities, hence an early release of information to the public to intimate them of the planned work.
“The idea is to divert traffic at this location to enable construction work to be carried out. Neither the government nor the contractor had any intention to close any section of the road,” the controller of works added.
Reasons for the postponement: During the week, our Analyst gathered that the Federal Government and other relevant agencies held talks with community leaders in the affected areas in order to get their cooperation during the reconstruction work.
Also, there were complaints about the planned partial closure because of activities slated for August by churches and other organisations in the area. Several religious activities will take place this month, with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Convention and Eid-el-kabir fixed for middle of the month.