On Thursday, the Federal administration suggested working with the Ogun State administration to jointly rehabilitate the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta motorway.
Engineer Dave Umahi, the Minister of Works, presented the suggestion to Governor Dapo Abiodun during a courtesy call at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Together with other ministry representatives, the minister was taking a tour of the State’s federal highways.
In response to Governor Abiodun’s concerns about the lack of progress on the road during the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in Ogun and Lagos States, Umahi said that the era of bureaucracy in road construction in the nation was coming to an end.
Umahi pointed out that state governments ought to be given the same opportunity if the federal government is seeking for corporate groups to participate in the management and building of roads.
“Let me say something about the frustration you experienced when you and the Lagos State government wrote to assume control of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road reconstruction,” he stated. Allow me to inform you that it is covered under the High Way Development Management Initiative, our newest programme. This initiative is a public-private cooperation.
“People ought to start considering states to be corporate entities. Why wouldn’t a state spend in building, owning, maintaining, and tolling its highways if you are seeking for investors?
Excellency, the inspection process in your state has already begun. Please accept my gratitude for the lovely road you constructed along Epe. Rather than driving on that road, I was flying. It connects Lagos, making it simple for people travelling north and east to circumvent the island.
We’ve completed 30% of the work on this Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta route, so I want us to collaborate on it. We own 40%, you can own 60%, and you can complete your share of the 60%. It can be turned over to any contractor you want.
“We cannot reset the economy with the type of bureaucracy we have; I do not believe in bureaucracy.”
“As soon as I receive your WhatsApp request, I will get back to you on this. We’ll take care of it through our HDMI.
The minister delivered his remarks on a few other state federal highways, some of which are undergoing reconstruction. He claims that there are still roughly 8 km left on the Ikorodu-Sagamu, and November is the deadline for finishing it.
About 21% of the Abeokuta-Ajebo route is still under development. However, many of the sections will be redesigned to be on concrete. Placed on Sukuk. However, Sukuk funding is not moving along at the intended rate of completion. We’re going to give it another look.
“We are building an overlay for the Benin-Ore-Sagamu dual carriageway.” Phase 4 is that. We inspected the last one, which is being handled by RCC, after Benin to Ore was finished. Money is a problem. In addition, we will work with you to redesign it, and in order to finish that, we will seek funding.
Next is the 77-kilometer Ota-Abeokuta road restoration. 30% of the Sukuk and budget funding has been used. In accordance with our new policy, we will also be reviewing the prices as Julius Berger has requested. The border between the Papalanto and the Benin Republic is another. Dangote is using the Tax Credit Scheme to do this.
“Papalanto is not continuing because we still need to review and take care of Dangote.” It’s crucial to remember that Lafarge and I met. It is beneficial for you to work with Lafarge to include them in this tax credit programme as well, in order to guarantee the stability of the road they are driving on. To expedite it, I would like to collaborate with you. Others, like BUA and Dangote, are involved. We are conversing with the cement producers as well. How they can lower cement prices. We’re planning to buy in quantity, which will boost their turnover. Thus, it benefits them both.
However, the legislation governing the use of reinforced concrete in road construction would also exert pressure on cement producers. 30 percent of our needs cannot now be met by their capabilities. Thus, they must now grow their factories, which will boost employment and lessen the strain on the currency.
The 127-kilometer Lagos-Ibadan motorway has been inspected by us. However, the majority of the 81 miles of the road are in Ogun State. Permit me to declare that Ogun State’s whole pavement project is now finished. About forty-three kilometres of the road are being completed by Berger, with the remaining portion being completed by RCC. By the end of September, the entire road segment will be completed. However, there will still be some minor construction going on; the median and drainage projects will last until the end of November.
Your Excellency, we need your help because Berger promised not to wait around on the three interchanges we saw once they were ready. If they are not compensated, they are vehemently protesting about being left on the job site. We are requesting that your excellency grant remuneration so that they can finish the flyovers. It will be fantastic as that route gets closed whenever Redeem or other people do their programmes. Nobody will obstruct the traffic going forward thanks to the interchanges.
We went over the Ikorodu-Sagamu Road renovation. Concrete is being used in some of the work. I’m here to firmly present concrete road pavement to your excellency as a means of constructing long-lasting road projects and reducing the financial strain we face. We build more cement factories in Nigeria, create more jobs, and promise no maintenance for 50 years. As we have observed in Lagos, that is what we are here to do. Both Dangote and the Lagos State government have made significant contributions to it.
The presence of good roads lowers the level of insecurity. Good roads are conducive to economic growth as well as the advancement of health and education. Thus, a vital piece of infrastructure that affects every other sector is the road. The president is dedicated to repairing our roads and ensuring that they do it in a way that will prolong their lifespan by fifty years.
The Minister added that the Federal Government, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is willing to work with any state that would like to participate in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme. The Federal Government also plans to implement new security measures on the highways.
Umahi thanked the Ogun State government for its dedication to maintaining all roads within its jurisdiction, whether they were state or federal.
Nobody in Ogun State claims that these are state roads rather than federal ones. People who are in pain are unable to distinguish between the two. Once the roads are fixed, we can discuss who owns it. Politics is being played by anyone who is yelling and whining, he declared.
Speaking to the entourage, Abiodun remembered the difficulties he and his colleague Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State faced in obtaining authorization from the federal government to assume responsibility for the restoration of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta motorway.
He lamented that the two states were dissatisfied, which caused the road to deteriorate even more, even though they had complied with some of the Federal Government’s criteria.
“I want to draw attention to the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road. Ota is a city that has earned us the distinguished title of being Nigeria’s industrial capital,” the speaker stated. We share boundaries with Lagos State in this city, and it is difficult to distinguish between Ota and Lagos State.
“I believe that road’s contract was awarded during President Obasanjo’s administration, possibly in 2012 or 2010.” The deal has undergone numerous evaluations ever since.
“Governor Sanwo-Olu and I visited President Buhari as soon as I took office, and we wrote a letter on joint letterhead asking for the route to be transferred to us.
Our lenders sent us a letter, which we brought. It was likely around N70 billion at the time, indicating that we wanted to use that amount for the road’s rehabilitation.
The Minister didn’t exist back then. We responded, “Okay, let us sit down and discuss on the basis of the partnership,” to their request that we form a partnership with the states because the road is under contract.
“Your Excellency, we made no progress. Let us discuss the basis of that partnership. That road is about 77 kilometres.”
The governor expressed gratitude to the federal government for revitalising the process of approving road development projects.
Abiodun expressed the hope that the reconstruction of the Sagamu end of the Sagamu-Ore road will go more quickly with assistance from the Federal Government.
“We as a state government have continued to maintain the Sagamu-Ore road; I am hoping you could use your good office to assist us in ensuring that the road is funded,” he added. “I am hoping that you will be able to help us fast-track the construction of Sagamu-Ore road.”