The minister of Works, David Umahi has assured that, the proposed 470 kilometres Abuja-Lagos Greenfield superhighway will be completed in four years, assuring that it will last for 100 years.
The minister who stated this in Lagos yesterday said the road will be built by a private sector consortium at no cost to the government.
According to him, the consortium will operate the facility for a yet-to-be-determined period of time on a build, operate and transfer deal, adding that it will be tolled at different points to enable the investors to recoup their investment.
Umahi assured Nigerians that the four-and-a-half-hour travel time for vehicles plying the route at 100 kilometres per hour was achievable.
“When I first introduced this to the public, many doubting Thomases were saying ‘it is impossible, Lagos-Abuja that is done in 14 hours cannot be done in four and half- hours’, that is the renewed hope of Mr President,” he said.
The Minister explained that President Bola Tinubu approved that the project be speeded up, adding that the contractor should be on site in three months.
“The president has approved that I fast-track this project. This project is going to be two lanes, but each lane is going to be a two-carriage way and it is going to be 14 metres.
“The only carriageway that is equivalent to this is the Third Mainland Bridge where each carriageway is 14 metres. It is going to be built on 275-millimetre thick concrete.
“The live-shelf design of this project is going to be 100 years. It is going to be completed within four years and this is doable. There are a number of bridges that will be built. There are a number of tolling points that are going to be there.
“We are not putting any kobo but we will assist them in every direction.”
The minister explained further that from Lagos, the road will pass through eight states in the Southwest and North Central before it gets to Abuja.
According to him, the affected states are Kogi, Ekiti, Oyo, FCT, Lagos, Ogun, Niger and Kwara.
Umahi commended the private consortium behind the deal, Advance Engineering Company, saying he was “very satisfied with their concept and what they have put in place.”
Emphasising the Federal government seriousness about the project, Umahi said the contract would be watertight such that if the consortium backed out unreasonably, it may have to pay a fine of $10million.
Chairman of the consortium, Kenny Martins, described the project as, “the first of its kind in Africa”, saying it would be ICT-compliant with a fibre optic connection, solar-powered street lights and security points on the entire stretch of the road.
Martins said in Lagos, the route would begin from the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge in Epe to Abuja.