The Kwara State Executive Council has approved the construction of a three-phased diamond split underpass at the Gerin Alimi roundabout in Ilorin, the state capital as part of efforts to ease traffic congestion in the area.
Briefing journalists after the State Executive Council meeting, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Aro Yahaya, said that the project is expected to be completed in 18 months and will be the third in the country.
The Geri Alimi area is the first contact for anyone visiting Ilorin from other states and usually gets busy especially in the morning and evening thereby causing traffic holdups for hours.
Aro Yahaya, while briefing journalists on the need for the project, explained that when completed, it would not only ease traffic but add to the aesthetic of the area as it is expected to be an engineering masterpiece and architectural beauty.
He added that the first phase of the project will cost N2.9 billion, and the funding would be from the 10 billion Naira the state government is sourcing from the bond market.
The design of the underpass will be the third in the country as they only exist in Mabushi in Abuja and Maryland in Lagos.
In a graphical demonstration of how the project would look like when completed, the contractor handling the project and Managing Director of Bal Engineering Limited, Bashir Lawal, explained that Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) and a security post would be provided to provide adequate security in and around the interchange.
Lawal noted that the project would provide aesthetic and architectural beauty to the area and ease human and vehicular movements.
Also speaking at the briefing, Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mahmoud Ajeigbe, said that the council has approved the contributory pension scheme for civil servants who joined the civil service from 1987 to date while those employed before the date would remain under the current scheme.
Mahmoud explained that the approval was sequel to the realization that the revenue base of the state could no longer sustain the old pension scheme.