The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Friday, appealed to residents along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway to resist the theft of construction materials on-site for speedy completion of the project.
Mr Fashola made the appeal during an on-the-spot inspection of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project.
He said he received information that some persons took sand from the construction site to use for their buildings and other purposes, noting that such actions would lead to degradation of the road, while still under construction.
He said the Lagos-Badagry Expressway reconstruction/rehabilitation project was now enjoying steady funding unlike before.
He added that the early 2023 target for completion of the highway depended on factors like weather, traffic management and cooperation of the communities.
Mr Fashola appealed to communities along the corridor of the project to be patient and compliant with traffic management efforts because of the impact of rainfall on the project.
“I think that the progress of work speaks for itself. The main problem on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway was always funding and budget, now, that has been substantially addressed with the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme.
“So, the contractor is progressing as you can see. And even while the work is going on, you heard from one of the traditional rulers we spoke to this morning, the Oba of Ibereko (Oba Israel Okoya).
“And he said their journey times had been reduced significantly; places that used to take them three hours are now a short drive of less than 10 minutes.
“And work is still going on, you can see we are standing on a substantially completed part of the road,” he said.
He called for patience on the part of road users as the construction work continued with the rainy season, which was likely to cause discomfort to road users.
“I do actual progress assessment, you are standing on concrete and ashpalted portions as I have told you. On one side we have 16 kilometres of single carriageway apart from the dual carriageway completed. We will transfer work to the other side.
“You saw in the early part from Agbara area where earth work is going on, you saw some of the parts that have been covered by FERMA (Federal Roads Maintenance Agency) around LASU (Lagos State University).
“And the Lagos State government is working on the Eric Moore bound section; so, it is progress,” he said.
He also recalled that Nigeria hosted ministers from Ghana, Cote d’ Viore, Togo and Benin Republic about a fortnight ago because of the importance of the highway, as part of the Lagos-Abidjan route.
He said the link, about 1,048 kilometres, was a strategic investment that Nigeria was contributing to boost West African Trade and the local community.
Earlier, Onibereko of Ibereko land, Oba Thomas Okoya, traditional ruler of one of the communities within completed sections of the road, thanked the federal government for the project, which had eased gridlock.