Minister of Works, Mr David Umahi, yesterday opened discussions with Hitech Construction Company Ltd. on the proposed Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.
Umahi, during a meeting with engineers from the Federal Ministry of Works and the contractor’s team in Lagos, said the project would boost interconnectivity to link the entire nation.
He said the project was huge, ambitious and showed the commitment of President Bola Tinubu to the restoration and rapid development of the Nigerian state.
He said the president was in a hurry to fix Nigeria and begin the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project.
The minister said the meeting with the contractor was the first and another meeting to be held in a fortnight would be to close deals for commencement of construction.
He said the project was a Public Private Partnership to be tolled upon completion, adding that the contractor had already sourced the money to execute the project.
Umahi explained that the project would be constructed in phases and the completed portions would be put to use and tolled.
He said the proposed highway would link Lagos-Badagry Expressway super highway, connect the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge, Lekki Deep Sea Port Road, link Ogoja-Ikom to connect five points in Northern Nigeria.
He said the road had an initial design length of about 650 to 700kms and rail lines components which would run in the middle of the main carriageways.
He said the project would promote tourism, have industrial clusters including hotels, factories, housing estates and several other facilities.
“It is quite innovative and the giant of Africa is beginning to show her prowess and this is being revitalised by the captain of the ship, his excellency President Bola Tinubu.
“So, this is beautiful. Another good news is that this is going to be built on concrete road of 11 inches thick with 20 millimeter reinforcement,” he said.
He said concrete construction would give opportunity for local cement manufacturers, boost steel production from Ajaokuta, as well as exploration of Nigeria’s huge bitumen.
Umahi, who is a civil engineer, said the project would have challenges because it would pass through mangroves, mashy areas, flood plains and all kinds of land and soil types.
“And so, there will be a combination of all kinds of construction methods, the deck on pile would be there, the sand filling will be there, the retaining walls will be there.
“So, it’s a very ambitious project, quite technical and highly rewarding. (NAN)