By Henry Umoru— ABUJA
The Senate has begun a probe into why the construction of Badagry/Sokoto Expressway, which commenced in 1978 during former Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, junta, was abandoned in 1979.
According to the Senate, the project that was initiated as part of 4th National Development Plan was abandoned in 1979 after former Head of State, Obasanjo had handed over power to former President, late Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
Consequently, the Upper Chamber has mandated its Senator Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi Central) led Senate Joint Committees on Works, Finance and National Planning & Economic Development to inter-face with the Ministry of Works, Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and other relevant stakeholders to determine why the Badagry-Sokoto Expressway was abandoned for such a long time.
The Committee has also been asked to provide a permanent and sustainable solution, plan and report to the Senate within two weeks.
Also, the Senate called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, engage in Public-Private Partnerships, PPP, in order to complete the construction of road projects in the country.
These resolutions of the Senate, on Wednesday, were sequel to a motion entitled “Need for the construction of the Badagry/Sokoto Expressway to promote economic growth and development,” sponsored by Senator Suleiman Umar(APC, Kwara North) and co-sponsored by seven other senators.
Presenting the motion, Senator Umar said that the Badagry-Sokoto Expressway is a Federal Government road that connects 12 states.
The states include Lagos/Badagry, Ogun/Agbara, Oyo/Abeokuta, Kwara, Niger, Kebbi and Sokoto states at the national level, with Benin, Togo and Niger at the international level.
According to him, the road is also the Nigerian section of the Trans-West Coastal Highway project to link 12 West African coastal nations.