The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Monday kicked off rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road.
Ministry officials led an inspection tour of the road from Ile Zik Bus Stop in Lagos to Ota in Ogun State and back to Ile Zik.
Julius Berger has begun rehabilitation around Sango Ota and workmen were seen using earth moving equipment, excavators and grading machines to lay construction materials in the inner lane around Joju Bus Stop area on the Ota-bound carriageway in Ogun State.
Officials conducted reporters round the sites to explain the scope of work.
At Ile Zik, Director of Federal Highways in Southwest, Olalekan Busari, said the road had been neglected by previous administrations before it was awarded this month.
He said: “On May 14, proactively, this administration awarded the contract for rehabilitation of the road, starting from Ile Zik bus stop at kilometre zero, up to kilometre 80 in Ogun State, that is, the brewery.”
Busari said the project was divided into two sections: the first section, from Ile Zik in Lagos, spans 20 kilometres; the second, which falls in Ogun State, is 60 kilometres.
He added: “It is a total rehabilitation and it is awarded at N22.387 billion. The contract period is two and a half years.
“Julius Berger has the capacity and the Federal Government is determined to properly fund this road project to deliver it on time.”
Giving a brief history of the highway, the director said the project had suffered setbacks.
He noted that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is resuscitating it as part of its mandate to deliver infrastructure to Nigerians.
The project started in 1999, with the first contract awarded in 2000.
He said: “The first section was to rehabilitate the Ota-Abeokuta section, which was awarded to Julius Berger in 2009.
“It was awarded for N11.6 billion. However, due to lack of funding, the project dragged until 2010, when it was completed at a contract price of N14.6 billion.
“Addendum Two was awarded in 2006 consisting of rehabilitation of the construction of the flyover at Ota and the construction of the roundabout as well as the strengthening of the Lagos-Ota road for N9.6 billion.
“The contract was eventually partially completed in 2010. In 2011, Section Three, Phase Three was awarded for N10.6 billion.
“The scope of work was to complete the work on the section of Phase Two, which is the construction of the flyover, as well as construction of the crash barriers and the strengthening of the Lagos road.
“It was awarded in 2011 for N10.6 billion due to delay in execution of the project and lack of funding by the previous administration.
“The job started and was stopped again in 2012, basically due to lack of funding and lack of priority.”
Busari added that the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road is important to the socio-economic development of Southwest and the nation as well as a link to the Republic of Benin.
He said Julius Berger had been given 15 per cent of the contract fund, promising that the Federal Government will pay the contractor on time.
Julius Berger’s West Division Manager Wolfgang Loesser said the firm was carrying out repairs of bad portions to reduce gridlock, pending major rehabilitation.
He said: “On Saturday, there was rain and cars were floating away because there is no drainage at the Ota end. So, we began rehabilitation.”
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Adedamola Kuti, and his Ogun State counterpart, Olukayode Popoola, said they had measures in place for traffic management and diversions to reduce hardship among road users.