A month after Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo – Olu promised the completion of Lagos / Badagry Expressway construction work on the corridor got underway yesterday with the flag-off of the project.
The flag-off of the 60-kilometer road from Eric Moore to Badagry according to the governor, will end the neglect and hardship suffered daily by residents of that part of the metropolis, where traffic snarl, robbery and deaths have become a daily experience.
Represented by Deputy Governor Dr Obafemi Hamzat, the governor said the contractor, Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) was recalled to site to commence work to bring relief to millions of Lagosians who live on the axis considered as an international route.
He said a section of the expressway from Agboju, a suburb of Lagos to Trade Fair Complex will be completed before the end of the year while the other stretch to Badagry will be rehabilitated with palliative measures to make it motorable to the public.
He lauded the cooperation between the Federal Government and the state government, saying the Federal Road Emergency Maintenance Agency (FERMA) was currently rehabilitating the Igboelerin section to Agbara road while the Federal Ministry of Works was building a six -lane road from Agbara to Seme Border.
The governor said the government was committed to the welfare of the citizens but stated the need for the citizens to reciprocate the government’s gesture. He lamented frequent cases of traffic offences by motorist who drive against traffic warning that full weight of the law will be brought upon offenders.
He said: ‘’As we were coming from this road this morning, we saw vehicles facing one way in the process we stopped some of them; we turned them back and some of them, we asked officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to go and prosecute them.
“Now, a lot of our citizens on the roads were giving excuses that ‘there is no road that is why we have to face one way’. Unfortunately, on that same road we saw a young man that was hit by commercial motorcyclist also known as ‘Okada’ while taking one way. So that young man can be anybody’s brother, somebody’s cousin, somebody’s father. So we cannot say because the road is not in good shape and allow people to break the law.
“On June 2nd, just two days after our inauguration Governor Sanwo-Olu and myself have been here and I am here again to show Lagosians that this is a very critical road for us and that construction will start again on this road and that is why we are here today to fulfil that promise.
“As you will recall, it is a massive road, we are expanding four to 10 lanes , it is a 60 kilometre road from Bode Thomas all the way to Okokomaiko. That is what we are doing and the essence is to say that we will again start all over again. From Agboju to Trade Fair, that road will be completed this year. That is from the four lanes to 10 lanes. At least we saw the state of the road presently. The palliative measures will start from Trade Fair all the way to Okokomaiko to make it motorable for our people, while the construction of that parts that takes us to Okokomaiko will continue. It is important to stress the cooperation between the Lagos State Government and Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Today, FERMA has awarded the rehabilitation from Igboelerin to Agbara. That rehabilitation will maintain the four lanes, the reason is clear because on that axis, you have pipelines and various infrastructure we want to make sure that it is preserved. That will make it motorable for Lagosians.”
Speaking at the event, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) General Manger, Lagos Head office, Mr. Bill Bian hailed the governor for bringing them back to site and pledged their preparedness to deliver on the timeline for the project.
He confirmed that the Agboju-Trade fair stretch will be completed before the year while palliative measures will continue beyond the road.
Bian stated that his organisation was not unmindful of the suffering of motorists on a daily basis and thanked every agency of government that has helped them in one way or the other.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Olujimi Houtonu said the reconstruction and upgrading of the expressway from Eric Moore to Okokomaiko from 4 to 10 -lanes is what the reconstruction is all about.
He said : “ It comprises the following on each side of the road, two toll lanes, two service lanes, one -Bus Rapid Transit (BRT ) lane, central reserve for one – way Light Rail Mass Transit (MRMT) and various support infrastructure.