BY DAPO AKINREFON
Lagos—The Federal Government yesterday said it had no plan to concession the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, but committed to completing the project in the stipulated time at the cost of N167 billion.
Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen who made this known in Shagamu, Ogun State, during a joint inspection of the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway by the Ministry of Works and Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, insisted that “there has not been any revision on the project.”
He expressed satisfaction on the progress made so far by the contractors saying “the Federal Ministry of Works is on a working visit to the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. We have seen what the contractors have done and the ministry is impressed with the level of work done. It has also been alleged that the federal government is considering a new concession, but the federal government has taken a decision that the road will not be concessioned because we took it away from a failed concession.
“The federal government, in demonstration of good faith is putting out N50 billion for the project-N25 billion this year and N25 billion in 2015. If you look at the main budget and the SURE-P budget, the N25 billion is secured. Already, the federal government has secured a Private Finance Initiative, PFI, for the funding of the road project and this road will be the first road that will benefit from the PFI.
This road will be completed within four years without any delay. The government of President Goodluck Jonathan is fully committed to the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. I repeat, this road will never be concessioned, it will never be concessioned to anybody.”
Speaking on behalf of Afenifere, its national publicity secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin commended the federal government for the progress made on the road, saying “having gone round and seen the level of work done on the road, we, in Afenifere, say we are satisfied. We are also using this opportunity to commend the federal government and the contractors handling the road project. We read in the newspapers all sorts of article written about the road but we have seen what is on ground.
“We have seen the model of other roads, at the end, most of them do not last long but having seen this model, we know this road will be a model to other roads in the country because it will last long. That is why we are using this opportunity to commend the federal government for the ongoing construction.”