June 26, 2018

How Jonathan stalled Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project – Babalakin

Nigeria ex-President Jonathan .

By By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsuru Olowoopejo, with agency report
Chairman of Bi-Courtney Construction Company, Dr Wale Babalakin(SAN), Tuesday alleged that the interference by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency in the Lagos-Ibadan road project stalled its completion.

Nigeria ex-President Jonathan .

Babalakin said this in Gbongan, Osun, at the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, 2018 policy meeting.

According to him, the road project would have been completed before 2014 at the cost of N112 billion if not for government’s interference.

It will be recalled that the Lagos-Ibadan road project was awarded to Bi-Courtney Construction under concession arrangement by late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009.

The concession arrangement was, however, terminated in 2012 by the Jonathan administration.

According to Babalakin, “if the ill-advised move that led Jonathan’s administration to interfere with the Lagos-Ibadan road project had not happened, the road would have been completed on or before 2014.

“It would have been an eight-lane highway with seven overhead bridges and thought-out facilities at a cost not exceeding N112 billion. Today, we are faced with an unending project with indeterminable cost and maximum inconvenience to road users.”

He added that the best way to develop infrastructure in Nigeria is to support and enhance those who have vision and imagination to create projects and see them to completion.

He commended JAMB for hosting the summit in Gbongan, saying he was honoured that the event was holding in his home town and hall.

Water transport

Meanwhile, in a bid to reduce gridlock on Lagos roads, the state government and Netherlands government have commenced partnership deals towards strengthening water transportation in the state.

The partnership was disclosed Monday, when Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Netherlands Representation in Lagos, Michel Deelen, led his team on a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Transportation, Ladi Lawanson, in Alausa.

Deelen said the visit was aimed at partnering Lagos State in boosting water transportation in the state, saying, “we share similarities in waterways.”

He said Netherlands has a lot of things in common with Lagos in terms of geography and proximity to the coast.