The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has said the administration of President Bola Tinubu is committed to the construction of roads that will be durable for as long as 50 years.
Umahi disclosed this on Tuesday during his working visit to Ogun State.
Umahi, while speaking when he visited the governor of the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun, at his Oke-Mosan office in Abeokuta, said he was in the state to see for himself the state of the federal roads and see what could be done to make them motorable.
He explained that the rehabilitation, reconstruction and expansion of 127km of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway being handled by Julius Berger and RCC construction companies were about 90% completed saying that the construction work was running according to the December 2023 completion date.
The minister assured the governor that the remaining eight kilometres of the Sagamu-Ogijo-Ikorodu Road which had yet to be completed and said to be posing serious challenge to the motorists would be completed by November.
According to Umahi, the Federal Government is also exploring reinforced concrete highways, as is being done in Lagos State, saying that roads built with reinforced concrete cannot only last for about 50 years but will also save the country of expending forex in sourcing for raw materials for roads constructed with asphalt.
He said that this policy would also help to create more jobs since there will be increased demand for cement while cement manufacturers would also have to expand their operations.
Umahi assured Abiodun that the 77km Abeokuta-Sango-Lagos road and the Abeokuta-Ajebo Road which is under construction, as well as Papalanto, would soon get adequate attention.
Speaking on the Federal Government partnering with the Ogun State Government the on Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Expressway, Umahi said, “I want us to work together. We’ve done 30% of the work. You can own 60% and we own 40%. And you can do your own portion of the 60% and give to a contractor of your choice, but with our design. I don’t believe in bureaucracy. We cannot reset the economy with the kind of bureaucracy that we have. We have to do things rightly”.
The minister lauded Gov Abiodun for his massive investment in road construction in the state without even discrimination saying that he traveled on the Ijebu-Ode-Epe road constructed by the governor and marveled at the good work done.
He said, “In Ogun State, nobody is saying this is federal roads, this is state roads. When people are suffering, they don’t understand which one is which. Fix the roads and we can talk about who owns it. Anyone that is shouting and complaining is playing politics. I have challenge anyone seeking for approval, just send me a WhatsApp message and in less than 30 minutes, I will discuss with you and give you approval”.
Receiving the minister, Governor Abiodun recalled what he and his colleague in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, went through getting the Federal Government’s permission to take over the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Expressway.
He said, “I will like to highlight the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road, Ota is a city that has earned us the prestigious title of being the industrial capital of Nigeria. It is a city where we share boundaries with Lagos State and you can hardly tell the difference between Ota and Lagos State.
Umahi during the visit inspected the first and second sections of the ongoing reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway which starts from Berger, Lagos and terminates at Ojoo, Ibadan, Oyo State capital as well as Abeokuta-Ajebo Road among others.