Babatunde Fashola, the minister for works and housing, says the ongoing construction of Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonsoki-Ojota highway will be completed by the end of 2020.
Fashola was speaking on Sunday while inspecting the rehabilitation work being carried out.
The minister, who inspected the project alongside Aliko Dangote, the president of the Dangote Group, said the federal government is committed to “speedy completion of the highway to provide a lasting solution to the problems of bad roads and gridlock”.
NAN reports that driving on the highway has been a huge nightmare for motorists since the reconstruction commenced on November 17, 2018.
Fashola said the road reconstruction is creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs and at the same time, advancing commerce because of the local content going into the work.
He explained that the project is creating wealth with thousands of trucks conveying iron rods, cement and other locally-sourced raw materials to sites where some 650 people were directly employed on various projects.
“Businesses have started coming back on Liverpool Road because the road closed earlier is now back. You will see more of that,” he said.
“All of the businesses that are shut on Creek Road will come back. We expect to see property redevelopment and property renewal once the road is completed.
“Once the economy of Apapa returns, all the clearing and forwarding, shipping, newspaper companies and all others doing business will resume fully and the economy will bounce back.’’
He commended the private public partnership scheme with Dangote, expected to execute road construction from the Nigerian Ports Authority through various areas to the old Toll Gate at Ojota, near Lagos.
The minister pointed out that section two of the project, which was not part of the original contract was already showing signs of failure, due to heavy traffic.
“We are at the Oshodi area now and one side has been concluded and opened to traffic and this is how we intend to continue to complete and open, until we finish the entire road.’’
He, however, appealed for understanding of road users as the roads go through curing process, saying that President Buhari’s mandate was to build long-lasting and enduring roads.
“We expect that by end of 2020 the entire road network will be finished, you will have a road that will last for 40 years.”
Also speaking, Dangote said the congestion at the ports has resulted to a loss of N25 billion for his company between 2017 and 2019.
He lauded the quality of work taking place on the road, saying that the development was reviving commerce in the Apapa area.
He said that the N72.9 billion project would have 10 lanes, stretching from Apapa to the Toll Gate at Ojota.
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