The Lagos State government last week, reaffirmed its resolve to complete the massive Lagos-Badagry expressway project despite the delay in completing the second phase of the ongoing N220 billion expressway expansion. But there are indications that the project would not be delivered by the Babatunde Fashola administration which fixed last month for the completion of the second phase of the ambitious scheme.
When the contract was awarded in January 2012 to Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC, the Lagos State government fixed January 2015, a 36-month time lag for its completion.
An up to date report however shows that the project is very far from being completed. The Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Kadri Hamzat an engineer, while assuring that the project would be completed and delivered after the expiration of the life of the Fashola administration, disclosed that the first phase or Lot 1 beginning from Babs Animashaun in Suru-Lere to Mile Two has been fully completed.
Similarly, Phase 2A which is between Mazamaza and Agboju has reached 90 per cent completion while Phases 2B and 2C have attained 45 per cent and 10 per cent completion levels respectively.
Hamzat made this disclosure while reacting to the comment of the Minister of State for Works who posited that without Federal roads, Lagos State is non-existent.
According to Hamzat, “The Phase 1 is practically completed while Phase 2A from Mazamaza to Agboju has recorded 80 per cent completion. Phases 2B and 2C of the project have reached 45 per cent and 10 per cent respectively”.
Admitting that the project cannot be completed under Fashola’s administration, Hamzat noted that government is a continuum, hence the incoming administration is expected to continue with it.
The Commissioner attributed the slow pace of work by the contractors to factors such as challenge of relocation of PHCN pylons and NNPC pipelines as well as the request for an expanded Right of Way (RoW).
Reacting to the Minister’s comment, Hamzat debunked the claim that only Federal roads in the state are functional. He described as ridiculous, the claim that only 11 per cent of 5500kms of road in the state are in good condition and those are Federal roads.
Stating that a number of federal roads have been ceded to the state government, Hamzat noted that the neglect of the roads by the federal government was the real reason the state had to intervene in the interest of the people. He said there are over 9,000 roads in Lagos state and managing this number of roads in a place like Lagos is not easy.
The Commissioner listed Federal roads taken over by the state government to include the Lagos-Badagry Expressway; Eko Bridge (34 expansion joints) and Mile 12 -Ikorodu Road.
“No state has done the number of roads Lagos state has done. One can dispute various things but cannot deny the obvious. Road development is everywhere in Lagos state,” he affirmed.
Hamzat said Apapa Bridge is currently being evaluated for rehabilitation. According to him, the delay to commence work on the bridge is to allow the completion of Eko Bridge rehabilitation in order not to shut down the state if work has to go on simultaneously at the two bridges.