Works minister David Umahi on Tuesday introduced night construction to fast-track Nigeria’s highway projects.
Mr Umahi initiated the plan during a visit to project sites in Lagos and Ogun.
He said during the visit that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway rehabilitation and reconstruction was 98 per cent completed and would be inaugurated mid-September.
The minister said other ancillary works including interchanges and underpasses on the project would continue while he sought support of the Ogun government towards payment of compensations for Right of Way recovery.
While inspecting section two of the Lagos-Ibadan road, he was joined by former Gbenga Daniel.
Mr Umahi said the government would use consultants to concession and toll all federal highways in the six geo-political zones.
Mr Umahi advised the contractor, Raynolds Construction Company (RCC), handling section two of the Lagos-Ibadan project, to include a mix of cement in the macadam used for the project.
The minister explained that inclusion of cement could make the highway last 100 years and be used for 50 years without maintenance.
Mr Daniel commended the federal government for the progress of the project, saying Ogun people have endured hardship including gridlock and insecurity during construction.
“On behalf of our people, thank you for this quick visit,” Mr Daniel said.
While inspecting the Lagoon section of the Eko Bridge, Mr Umahi instructed the engineers to introduce night construction. He said good construction ethics requires minimal discomfort to road users, hence, the need to close critical sections that needed lifting for repairs after midnight.
The minister added that night-hours construction under his supervision would improve the pace of project delivery. Mr Umahi said it was cost-effective to maintain the bridges to prevent collapse, noting that reconstruction of any bridge would cost trillions of naira.
Mr Umahi assured the various contractors that the outstanding fees would be paid without further delay to achieve prompt delivery of the projects.
He expressed satisfaction and praised the contractor, Buildwell Plants and Industries Ltd, for the quality of work done at Apongbon, Ijora Olopa, Lagoon and Costain sections of Eko bridge.
“We are happy with the designs and assure that the bridge will be completed before the end of November,” the minister said.
Mr Umahi promised to prevail on President Bola Tinubu for quick completion of bridges undergoing maintenance in Lagos.
While inspecting the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki expressway project, Mr Umahi praised Dangote for the quality of work and use of concrete.
“The Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki expressway project is 99 per cent completed,” the minister said.
He also commended Dangote for the durable rigid pavement construction done at Apapa-Wharf road, insisting that all projects supervised under him must be done with concrete.
The minister, however, was unhappy with heaps of refuse along projects alignment from Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonsoki exit from the ports. Mr Umahi said he would seek the help Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the issue.
He urged his engineers to prevail on users of open spaces under the bridges to clean and maintain them. The minister started the inspection tour from outer Marina Road and transverse roads, met with traders under Liverpool Bridge, before ending the trip with a visit to Dangote Refinery Road at the Lekki Free Trade Zone.