The earlier scheduled date of 2021 for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, along with second Niger bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway may no longer be feasible.
Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, on television on Thursday that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will now be completed in the first quarter of 2022, along with the Second Niger Bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway.
According to the minister, the change was caused by the ravaging coronavirus pandemic which according to him, slowed construction activities and affected government revenues.
The Lagos-Ibadan road, which was awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria and Reynolds Construction Company Limited (RCC), at a cost of 167 billion naira.
The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, along with second Niger bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway, are parts of projects funded under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.
“As I speak to you now, we have lost essentially the prime of our working period which is the dry season in the covid period,” he said.
“We have also lost some of our expected revenue plans.
“We have to regain and recover all of that.
“At the time COVID-19 hit Nigeria, we were doing 2.59 percent growth rate. Now we are heading for a recession globally and Nigeria will not be insulated from that.
“We are working on plans to bring the economy back on track.”
Some 11 contractors executing 53 projects in 26 states were “remobilised back to site in the first week of the easing of the lockdown,” Fashola said.
“We had to work with the Governors to allow men and materials to move,” he added.
“We also had to develop new safety guidelines for the construction.”
Mr Fashola noted that while work was suspended during the coronavirus lockdown, earnest efforts were made to resume once the federal government started to lift restrictions.
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