Some stakeholders and a cross section of Nigerians have commended the minister of works, Dave Umahi, on his expressed commitment to the takeoff and completion of the proposed Abuja-Lagos “super” highway project.
The broad consensus among stakeholders and Nigerians is that the project, when completed, would be a preferred alternative means of transportation to air travels by Nigerians, plying the all-important Abuja-Lagos route.
A media professional, Mr Ime Ufot, who is excited about the project, described it as a potential elixir for air travels that had become epileptic and which costs have continued to rise astronomically.
The “super” highway, Ufot added, would provide Nigerians with an alternative means of movement from Abuja to Lagos and vice versa.
According to him: “I am excited that the multi-billion dollar project is one of the iconic projects the Tinubu administration would embark upon countrywide. My expectation is that the administration would deliver on the project within the time frame that would be alloted for it.”
Another media professional, Mr Sufuyan Ojeifo, commended the “super” highway proposal, saying “the nitty gritty of the project should be spelt out so that Nigerians know what to expect.
“Will the superhighway come with a component of rail line for bullet trains that can cover the distance between Lagos and Abuja in less than four hours?”
He said the minister of works, who governed Ebonyi State in the last eight years, had a track record of infrastructure development in the state.
“Senator Dave Umahi, as governor, transformed Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital into a cosmopolitan capital. The array of infrastructure projects was his development imprimatur.
“Besides, he successfully shattered the backwater state categorisation of Ebonyi and elevated it to an exemplar in the model of accountable governance and delivery of democracy dividends.
“Umahi can therefore be trusted to deliver on the project with the investment of huge political will by President Bola Tinubu-led administration in ts execution.”
An Egineer, Abubakar Ahmed, applauded the proposal, saying it would provide Nigerians who could no longer afford the increasing cost of air tickets and were left with the options of either travelling by air or on the dilapidated road network.
It would be recalled that the minister of works had declared that trips from Lagos, the nation’s commercial centre to Abuja, the federal capital territory, would take a minimum of four hours by the time President Bola Tinubu-led Administration completed the “super” road projects.
The stretch of road from Lagos to Abuja normally covers 717.7 kilometres and the trip will take between 10 hours and 15 hours going by the poor conditions of the road which have injured and claimed many lives of motorists and commuters through accidents, armed robbery, banditry and kidnapping.
Umahi had undertaken inspection tours of Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Epe-Ijebu-Ode road, among others, on Thursday, last week.
He had noted that the “super” road projects being proposed by Tinubu’s presidency would solve major road infrastructure problems that were being experienced by Nigerians across the country.
While being hosted by Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State in Abeokuta, the State Capital, the minister of works had stated that the efforts of making Nigerian roads smooth and motorable had started in Lagos with third mainland bridge and other major roads and bridges in Lagos as such roads and bridges would be fixed without inflicting pains on Nigerians.
He said, “I have been in Lagos since Monday ,(last week), basically inspecting bridges in Lagos. Let me make it very clear that the public has no fear about the integrity of the Third Mainland Bridge.
“Every structure needs maintenance after so many years after construction. The little defects here and there need to be fixed. We fix it in such a way that it won’t inflict pains on Nigerians. Nobody should be afraid of the integrity and stability of the Third Mainland Bridge. We are working on Eko Bridge right now. We are going to look at the Carter Bridge.
“Your excellency, we have started the inspection already in your state. Let me thank you for the beautiful road you built along Epe. I was rather flying, not driving on that road. It links Lagos and what it means is that those going to the North and the east can easily avoid the Island.
“Let me announce to you that the Lagos proposed 4th Mainland Bridge is going to tear off with our proposed Super Highway, which will take off along Epe. A majority of it is going to be in Ogun řf it will take us four hours from Lagos to Abuja. We had presentation on that yesterday (Wednesday). It’s going to be on PPP.
“We are concluding on that. Within the next two months, work will start on that project, and that will further interconnect states to the federal capital. We’ve inspected the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a total of 127 kilometres. But a majority of the road is in Ogun State, I think about 81 kilometres.”