2nd Niger-Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway To Be Completed Before 2023 – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday assured Nigerians that the 11.9km Second Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and other key projects under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) will be completed within the second term of this administration.

The assurance was given at the opening of a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organized to assess progress made towards the achievement of the nine key priorities of this Administration.

Addressing guests at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the president expressed delight that over the past two years, ministers have rendered reports to the Federal Executive Council on their activities related to the achievement of their ministerial mandates; reports which President Buhari said speak of feats attained by his administration.

He listed accomplishments in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, economy, electricity supply, the petroleum industry, among others.

‘‘On transportation, we are growing the stock and quality of our road, rail, air and water transport infrastructure.

‘‘The PIDF projects are also advancing remarkably. These include the 11.9km Second Niger Bridge, 120 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 375 km Abuja – Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Expressway and the East West Road. Most of these projects are expected to be completed within this 2nd term of our Administration,’’ he stated.

Speaking further regarding achievements of his government, President Buhari noted that his administration has made tremendous progress on railway projects in the country, noting that upgrading of the railway network is being extended with the recent completion of the Lagos – Ibadan line.

‘‘The Itakpe-Ajaokuta rail line has finally been completed and commissioned after 30 years of its conception. ‘‘Work is expected to commence very soon on the Port-Harcourt Maiduguri line and Calabar – Lagos Coastal Line to connect the Southern and Eastern States of our Country. Progress is also being made on the upgrading of our Airports, with the state-of-the-art facilities in line with world class safety standards,’’ he said.

On the economy, the President said the nation witnessed three consecutive quarters of growth, after negative growth rates recorded in the second and third quarters of 2020.

President Muhammadu Buhari delivers a speech during the Two-Day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in the State House, Abuja on October 11, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House
President Muhammadu Buhari delivers a speech during the Two-Day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in the State House, Abuja on October 11, 2021. Bayo Omoboriowo/State House

 

‘‘The GDP grew from 0.8% in 2017 to 2.2% in 2019, but declined in the first quarter of 2020, as a result of the downward trend in global economic activities triggered by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

‘‘As at Second Quarter 2021, GDP growth rate was at 5.01%, the highest since the inception of this Administration”.

On security, President Buhari announced that the Ministry of Defence has been instructed to create a modest military-industrial complex for the local production of weapons to meet some of the requirements of the country’s armed forces.

The president explained that the establishment of the industrial complex would address Nigeria’s over-dependence on other countries for military equipment and logistics.

He said the project is being implemented under the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), a military department responsible for arms manufacture.

On other efforts to strengthen national security, the President said it was gratifying to note that Nigeria has received six A-29 Super Tucano. He said the propeller-driven aircraft are being used for training, surveillance, and attack by the military.

‘‘As part of the efforts towards strengthening our national security, we have increased investments in arms, weapons and other necessary equipment; expanded the National Command and Control Centre to nineteen states of the Federation; and established a Nigerian Police Trust Fund, which will significantly improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force.

‘‘We have also approved the sum of N13.3 billion for the take-off of the Community Policing initiative across the country, as part of measures adopted to consolidate efforts aimed at enhancing security nationwide,’’ he stressed.

Regarding the power sector, President Buhari noted that the implementation of a ‘Willing Buyer-Willing Seller’ Policy has opened up opportunities for increased delivery of electricity to underserved homes and industries.

He expressed hope that the execution of critical projects through the Transmission Rehabilitation and Expansion Programme, will result in achieving the national goal of improved power supply by 2025.

As regards the Petroleum Industry Act signed into law on 16th August 2021, the president reiterated his directive to the Implementation Committee to complete all processes for the successful operationalization of the Act within 12 months.

On efforts to empower the youth and other vulnerable groups by enhancing investments in the Social Intervention Programmes, the President said he has approved the expansion of the National Social Register (NSP) by 1 million additional households.

‘‘We have established the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund created to boost the Nigerian economy through leverage and access to finance for youths.

‘‘The Fund should serve as a catalyst to unleash the potential of the youth and to enable them to build businesses that will stimulate economic growth and create jobs. These accomplishments are a testament to the fact that all hands are on deck in establishing a solid foundation for even greater successes in future,’’ he enunciated.

The president warned all ministers and permanent secretaries to take seriously all issues relating to the implementation of their mandates towards the attainment of the laudable objectives of this Government.

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway: Motorists, Commuters Lament Gridlock

Screenshot from a video showing traffic gridlock at Berger, outward Lagos on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

 

Motorists and commuters plying the Lagos-Ibadan expressway woke up on Wednesday morning to a huge gridlock which affected traffic outward Lagos.

The gridlock was caused by an accident involving two trucks.

This was reported to have gone unattended, thereby causing a lot of frustration for road users leaving huge tailback which also spilled into feeder roads to the expressway.

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The Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Segun Ogungbemide in an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday said the gridlock escalated because it took a while to clear the accident scene.

Screen shot from a video showing traffic gridlock and stranded commuters around Kara bridge on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.

 

“At the moment we are trying to manage the backlog of the gridlock caused as a result of the crash which occurred at the early hours of this morning.

“It involved two trucks getting involved in a crash and it took some time before we were able to clear the debris because the engine of the tanker pulled off from the structure and it took us some time to manage the traffic,” Ogungbemide said.

The aftermath of the crash generated gridlock both inward and outward Lagos.

The FRSC Sector Commander appealed to motorists not to drive against traffic rules due to impatience. He appealed to road users to exercise patience and cooperate with traffic officials.

 

See photos from the gridlock below…

Explosion: Six Tankers, Five Trucks Burnt On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Vehicles numbering 13 have been destroyed in a fuel tanker explosion around a trailer park at Ogere, Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

The burnt vehicles include six tankers, five trucks, and two cars.

According to eyewitnesses, the explosion occurred at about 6:20am on Tuesday impeding traffic outward Lagos State.

Fire Fighters and road safety officials are at the scene battling the fire.

Officials told Channels Television that the casualty figure cannot be ascertained for now.

The officials say as they tried to remove the burnt vehicles and open up a detour for other vehicles, the fire ignited again prompting firefighters to resume extinguishing the fire.

Later in a statement, the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), urged motorists to ply alternative routes.

According to the spokesperson of the agency in Ogun State, Babatunde Akinbiyi, the incident occurred after a fully loaded trailer fell leading to gridlock. The tanker suddenly burst into flames affecting other vehicles in the process.

Akinbiyi added that the agency alongside other agencies – FRSC, NSCDC, and the Fire Service are working to handle the situation.

Vehicles moving inbound Lagos are advised to go through Saapade-Ode/Remo-Iperu-Sagamu to relink Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

While vehicles moving inbound Ibadan are advised to go through Sagamu-Iperu-Ode/Remo-Saapade to relink the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

Gas Leakage Causes Panic Along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

A gas pipeline leakage along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway has caused panic among residents of Arepo, Magboro, and other neighbouring communities.

The pipeline which is located close to The Punch newspaper company was ruptured while Julius Berger was carrying out construction works in the Arepo area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Wednesday.

As of the time of this report, emergency responders have turned off the gas stopping the leakage.

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Emergency responders from LASEMA Response Unit (LRU), Nigeria Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Federal fire service, and Nigeria Police Force are still at the scene.

Meanwhile, the FRSC in a statement has advised motorists to take alternative routes.

The statement which was signed by Corridor Commander, Lagos-Ibadan-Egbeda Corridor, Kehinde Hamzat, explained that the incident has led to a standstill traffic situation on both sections of the expressway.

“Motorists are advised not to panic as professionals are being contacted to take care of the situation.

“For people who have time-bound activities may explore alternative routes and for those who can postpone their trips, let us endeavor to do so while the situation gets controlled,” the FRSC said.

 

See photos from the scene below…

Six Persons Killed In Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Auto Crash

A file photo of a section of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
A file photo of a section of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

 

Six persons have been confirmed dead while one other sustained injuries in an accident involving a truck and a Honda pilot jeep around Ogere, on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

The public relations officer of the Ogun state Traffic Compliance and Enforcement (TRACE) unit, Babatunde Akinbiyi, and officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps in the state confirmed the incident.

According to them, the incident which occurred around 7 am on Saturday was caused by excessive speeding and loss of control on the part of the jeep driver.

Reports have it that eight male adults and one female adult were involved in the accident, while five males and one female lost their lives in the accident.

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It was gathered that the Honda pilot marked LSR 525 FY was on excessive speed, lost control, and rammed into the moving truck with registration number KRV 716 ZV.

The injured victim is said to have been taken to Idera, a private hospital in Ogere for medical attention, while the deceased were deposited at FOS Morgue, Ipara.

Traffic officials advised motorists and other road users to drive cautiously, obey traffic rules and regulations and also avoid dangerous driving, and wrongful overtaking at all times.

Truck, Tanker Accident Causes Gridlock On Kara Axis Of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

A Tuesday morning accident has caused gridlock at the Kara axis along the Lagos Ibadan expressway.

The accident which involved two articulated vehicles, a truck and a tanker, kept motorists squeezing out as the lanes become narrow due to the obstruction.

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Members of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and police were on the ground to ease and direct motorists who slowly navigated their way out of the gridlock.

Also, efforts are also on to evacuate the tanker from the scene.

 

See photos from the accident below…

Fire Guts Multiple Vehicles Along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

The scene of the tanker explosion on Kara Bridge of the Lagos Ibadan Expressway.

 

Multiple vehicles were engulfed in a fire that started on Saturday morning along the Kara Bridge section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire was triggered by an explosion from a petrol tanker.

The number of human casualties could not be ascertained as of the time of filing this report.

The Nigerian police and Federal Road Safety Corps officials have arrived at the scene to put the situation under control.

The incident led to heavy traffic on that section of the expressway on Saturday morning.

Tanker related accidents are common along Kara Bridge. On July 17, two trucks and a fully-loaded fuel tanker were in collision, resulting in major gridlock for commuters.

At least one person was confirmed dead on June 21, after a petrol tanker, a gas truck, and a cement transport truck collided on the bridge.

See Photos Below:

 

Businesses Shut, Govt Offices Closed As Protesters Continue To Occupy Alausa

Screenshot from videos showing grounded activities at Ikeja area of Lagos State.

 

Businesses were ground to a halt in and around Ikeja area of Lagos State as #EndSars Protest continues on Tuesday.

Malls, government offices, and other businesses in Alausa, Agidingbi, Allen were shut as protesters occupy the streets, blocking major roads along the business areas.

Dispatch riders can be seen stranded as vehicular activities were restricted due to the activities of the protesters.

Some youths play football on deserted roads, others gather at different junctions mounting roadblocks to restrict vehicular movement.

Others seized the moment to display cycling and other creative skills on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as traffic builds.

Again, #EndSWAT Protesters Block Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

#EndSWAT Protesters Block Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. PHOTO: Channels/TV

 

Protesters against police brutality and extrajudicial killings have again blocked sections of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway grinding vehicular activities to a halt.

The protesters occupied the inbound and outbound sections of the expressway singing solidarity songs and chanting ‘#EndSWAT’‘#EndSARS’ ‘#EndPoliceBrutality.’

Motorists and commuters were trapped in the gridlock as a result of the demonstration by the protesters.

The protesters regrouped after the early morning attack on them carried out by armed thugs on House of Assembly drive, in Alausa area of Lagos State.

By midday, they walked 1km from Alausa to Allen roundabout, where they stayed for some minutes chanting solidarity songs.

The protesters later moved to the Lagos-Ibadan expressway blocking both sides of the road.

For the past few days, hundreds of protesters demanding an end to police brutality, extrajudicial killings, and extortion by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force have blocked the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

See photos below…

Eight Passengers Burnt To Death In Lagos/Ibadan Expressway Accident

A file photo of a roadblock on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway used to depict the story.

 

Eight persons were reportedly burnt to death in a lone accident involving a Mazda passenger bus around Saapade bridge by Straight Gate college on Lagos-Ibadan expressway on Saturday night.

This was confirmed by the sector commander of the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), Ahmed Umar, to newsmen in Abeokuta on Sunday.

He explained that the accident occurred around 8:45 pm was caused by tyre burst.

“The suspected cause of the lone accident involving the Mazda bus marked AAA 249 VX was tyre burst which led to the loss of control then crash and the bus went into flames immediately,” he said.

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He adds that the FRSC operatives contacted the Sagamu Fire Service immediately for joint rescue operations.

Eleven persons were said to be involved in the accident which comprised three male adults, one female adult, one child and six others unidentified.

Three injured victims were taken to Idera Hospital, Sagamu for medical attention while the health department of Remo North Local government was contacted for the burnt victims.

The FRSC, however, advises motorists to drive cautiously, obey traffic rules and regulations, and ensure that their tyres are in good condition always.

Gridlock On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway After Fuel Tankers Collide

File Photo of an accident scene on Kara-end of Lagos Ibadan Expressway in June 2020.

 

The Lagos-Ibadan expressway is on standstill, after two tankers carrying Premium Motor Spirit, collided with each other in the early hours of today.

The Lagos State fire service is already on ground to salvage the situation.

However, movement of motorists coming inward and outward Lagos had to be out on hold as the PMS (fuel) had spilled over the roads.

Those commuting out of Lagos were diverted at the Kara-end of the expressway to continue their journeys.

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge Now To Be Completed In 2022 – Fashola

 

 

The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will now be completed in the first quarter of 2022, Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, said on Thursday.

The road project, awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria and Reynolds Construction Company Limited (RCC), at a sum of 167 billion naira, was earlier scheduled to be finished in 2021.

Fashola, in an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, said the delay was due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has slowed construction activities and affected government revenues.

The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is part of projects funded under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.

Other projects under the fund include the Second Niger Bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway

On Thursday, Mr. Fashola confirmed all three projects are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022.

“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 to regain and recover all of that.

“We have also lost some of our expected revenue plans. At the time Covid 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.”

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.

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 Governor to allow men and materials to move,” he added. “We also had to develop new safety guidelines for the construction.”

Much with less

Assessing the efforts of the Buhari administration over five years on improving road infrastructure across the country, Fashola said much had been done with very little.

“Given the circumstances and the results, we have done a lot much more with less resources,” he said.

He cited refunds – near N700bn – made by the federal government to states for federal road projects worked on since 1999.

A file photo of Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola
A file photo of Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

 

“These are debts that the previous government handed over at the time oil was selling at over $100 per barrel,” Fashola said.

“Those roads were neglected then. These governments have inherited them at the time when revenues have dropped significantly, sometimes to as low as $20 per barrel.

“With much less resources, we have committed to more radical infrastructure development across Nigeria. So as I speak to you now, we are executing 600 road projects across all the states.

“We are in universities repairing internal roads that have been left behind.

“The Abuja-Kaduna highway is under construction, so is the Bodo-Bonny bridge. Second Niger-Bridge and the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

“What is the impact? Although we haven’t finished, any road user today will tell you that their journey times have been improved, compared to when we resumed on the major highways.”

‘Focus On Your Own Roads’

On Wednesday, the federal government said it will no longer pay states for constructing federal government roads.

“What the states have done is that they have spent money on roads that have become integral to the development of their cities,” Fashola, a former Governor of Lagos state, said.

But after paying back nearly N700bn to states for federal road projects, the Buhari administration will no longer make refunds, Fashola stressed.

“So what the president has done is to say I will pay the inherited debt, I promised to do so. And he has kept his promise. But please leave my roads alone, go and face your own roads, don’t impose priorities for me, I have mine.

“From January 2016, all the states were notified – don’t touch federal roads again if you want a refund. If you do not want a refund and you want to do it, take permission, approval from the Ministry of Works.

“Because the states too have not completed all their roads, neither have the local governments; we are now focusing on over 600 roads that will impact lives in a very positive way.”

How Abacha Loot Will Be Managed

In 2020, the federal government recovered $308m looted by military dictator, Sani Abacha, and pledged it towards the construction of three key infrastructure projects – the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Expressway and the Second Niger bridge.

On Thursday, Fashola explained that the funds are not domiciled in the Ministry of Works.

Instead, the funds go into the sovereign wealth fund, managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Fashola said.

“I can’t confirm whether the money is ready because it didn’t come to my ministry,” he said. “It was released to the Nigerian government through the Central bank and I believe on to the NSIA.

“So what happens simply is that the contractor does his work. Our staff, from the controller to the directors at the ministry, provide technical governance to make sure that the work is properly done, certified, and then we send the certificate that we validate to the NSIA.

“The NSIA also have their own technical consultants who crosscheck; and if they are satisfied, they pay.

“That is how we have done it in the past 18 months and these funds, when they come in, if they come in, will not change the governance process.

“And there are plans by the attorney-general to also expand the governance process and oversight for it. What we are concerned about is making money work for Nigerians.”