By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – Minister of Works, Senator Sanusi Daggash said Thursday, that the contracts for the rehabilitation of the deteriorated Wharf-Mile 2-Oshodi carriageways in Lagos State have been awarded to two construction firms, Julius Berger PLC and Borini Prono.
Senator Daggash who disclosed this today while reacting to a wake up call on him over near collapse of some federal highways in Lagos State and its environs, by the Vanguard Newspapers, said the federal government was aware of the perennial traffic problem associated with the road.
The minister who spoke through a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, CPS, Mr. Taye Akinyemi, in Abuja, was however, not specific on the contract sums as well as when the contractors would mobilize to the projects sites.
According to the statement, “the attention of the Federal Ministry of Works has been drawn to the front page photo news of the Vanguard of today, Tuesday February 22, 2011 in which the paper rhetorically asked : WHEN WILL THE WORKS MINISTER, SANUSI DAGGASH WAKE UP?
“The question was asked in relation to the Mile 2-wharf end of the Oshodi -Apapa Expressway which according to the newspaper has failed for several months ‘without his ministry bothering’’.
“It is important to state at the onset that the works minister has not only been awake, but has been alive to his responsibilities and fully abreast of all federal roads in the country, their current state and now has a national road map towards a more durable and sustainable road network for the nation.
“Aside from visiting most states of the Federation for a first hand information on federal roads, the Hon. Minister had twice visited Lagos and specifically the said Oshodi – Apapa roads, first in April 28th & 29th ,2010 , the last of such visits being as recent as 9th -10th December, 2010.
“The visit was a follow-up to the award of the contract for the full rehabilitation of the roads to Messrs Julius Berger PLC Section II (CH 7 + 000 to CH 23 + 000) and Borini Prono (Oshodi –Apapa Section I CH 0 + 000 to CH 7 + 000) ends of the roads.
“This road was constructed by Julius Berger Nig. Plc in the early 70s and it is the main arterial route for the evacuation of imported products from the 2 major deep seaports (i.e. Tin Can and Apapa deep sea Ports). The Kirikiri lighter terminal is also being serviced by this very important carriageway.
“Seven (7) major inter changes form part of the original design of the expressway i.e at Trinity, Kirikiri, Mile-2, Iyana-Isolo, Oshodi, Anthony and Oworonshoki. At Oworonshoki; 2 separated grades exist that transfer traffic onto the 3rd Mainland Bridge and the Lagos –Ibadan Expressway.
“Over the years as the population of Lagos grew, numerous establishments have sprung up along this major arterial route. This has led to major abuses on the drainage infrastructures as provided for in the original contract. Most of the drains, which hitherto transfer storm water from the carriageway to the creeks, have become silted up and blocked.
“Also, major oil Marketers with high storage capacity are located along this route thereby making it impossible to access the service roads between Coconuts –Apapa Port since they have converted this service road to truck parks.
“Activities of the Trucks, Equipment, and car dealers under the umbrella of United Berger Truck/Equipment Dealers Association have rendered most of the service roads where they operate impassable to vehicular traffic and they constitute a major stumbling block to the emerging government maintenance policy.