After 40 years of neglect, the federal government, yesterday, flagged off the reconstruction of Apapa-Oshodi –Oworoshoki –Ojota expressway in Lagos, which is expected to gulp N73 billion using a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had, in August this year, approved N72.9billion for the reconstruction of the road from Apapa to the tollgate on Lagos-Ibadan expressway in Lagos State.
Speaking at a ceremony held in Lagos, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the road and Tin can Island port, which were constructed between 1975 and 1978, had suffered neglect from successive governments in the country.
He lamented that 40 years after, the road was not rebuilt, expanded or reconstructed but always patched before its collapse despite the huge funds that accrued to the federal government through sale of crude oil during the period.
Fashola said, “In all those years, what happened is that we made a lot of money selling crude oil but this road was not rebuilt, expanded; Lagos Badagry started to deteriorate; Lagos-Ota – Abeokuta, you could not pass; Ikorodu Sagamu was inaccessible. You have heard from the consultant here who said about 10 years ago when we were earning over 100 dollars per barrel of crude oil, he made a proposal to the government of the day but nothing was done.
‘’Now, oil is significantly lower in price yet it takes one man’s commitment, one man’s good heart, goodwill and determination to make the kind of investments that are now being made here, that man is President Muhammadu Buhari. So, if you visit Lagos Badagry expressway, the contract has been awarded. Those are the roads that are so critical to the economic survival of Lagos.’’
According to him, the decision to reconstruct the road was taken to provide long-term solution to the road, which had suffered lots of gridlock in recent times, noting that the road was intended to evacuate cargo out of Lagos without running through the spine of the city.