By Maduka Nweke
Residents along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway axis came in mass last weekend to join the inspection tour of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project by Federal Ministry of Works team.
Stakeholders in are happy that the work is moving speedily, however they regretted that the work was delayed owing to reason they were not aware of.
They decried the state of the road that made Badagry a no go area as a result of 250 per cent hike in transport fare and capability of rendering new vehicles unmovable after a one-direction movement. PropertyMart gathered that NNPC tax credit fund became the oil fast tracking the Badagry expressway project of recent time.
Speaking on the construction, Mr Babatunde Hunpe, the lawmaker representing Badagry in the House of Representatives, urged Federal Government to continue funding the project so that the work would finish on time.
According to the lawmaker, there are tremendous changes on the pace of work on the road in the last few months. “I am sure that if this continues the way it is going by December this year, the residents and the people passing through the expressway will have cause to smile and thank the government more. I am appealing to the residents to cooperate with the construction workers so that the project will continue without an issues,” he said.
Also speaking, Oba Israel Okoya, the Onibereko of Ibereko land, said in the past, residents spent between five and six hours from Badagry to Mile 2 in Lagos. “But today we thank the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Raji Fashola for tremendous changes we have seen on the road.
“We want to implore the government to continue the good work so that by next year the project will be completed,” he said. Abdulsalam Ashade, the Coordinator, National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYC) Olorunda LCDA urged the Federal Government to construct pedestrian bridges for the residents crossing the road.
Fielding questions from the press why the project witnessed speed works, the Director of Federal Highways in South West, Mr Adedamola Kuti, said the N15 billion NNPC Tax Credit funding is speeding up construction works on the Badagry expressway project. He said this during the inspection of the section three of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project which spans from Agbara to Seme Border being supervised by the Federal Ministry of Works.
He said about 17 kilometers had been completed on various stretches on the Badagry bound lane, while measures were on to further speed up pace of construction works.
“So far, NNPC funds have brought in a lot of relief to this job. We have been able to pay some of the outstanding bills for certified works that has been done. So, we have our certificate number four five has been paid up by NNPC. “That is why you are seeing this tremendous progress that ongoing on this road. NNPC funding for this job is just about 15 Billion Naira but we have been assured that government will not stop funding,” he said.
Kuti said that the project was about 25 per cent completed and expressed hope that government continued funding will get the project to about 80 per cent completion within a year. He said that the contract was awarded in 2018 but due to funding constraints actual construction began in earnest between 2020 and 2021 after the SUKUK funding came in, adding that, subsequently the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme.
“From December 2021 and this year 2022, this project has been placed under the Tax Credit initiative of the Federal Government that is being sponsored and being financed by the NNPC.
“We are here to see the progress that has been made so far on this road. This road is very sensitive to the Federal Government. Out of the 21 critical roads under NNPC funding we have two in the South West and Lagos-Badagry Expressway happens to be one,” he said.
Kuti explained that from Agbara to Badagry is about 46 kilometers, adding that, the road had reached final layers on several portions including the Ibereko community axis. He said that the progress of work had reduced travel time and impacted Lagos residents plying the highway positively while improving commerce on the axis.
Kuti said more than 300 trucks of cement, over 30,000 trucks of aggregates and over 131 trucks of diesel had been used on the project which had employed over 500 people on the construction site.