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What's Happening On The Lagos-Ibadan Axis?

New Lagos-Ibadan expressway design awaiting FG’s approval, says Babalakin

Wale Babalakin, chairman, Bi-Courtney Consortium, the concessionaire handling Lagos-Ibadan expressway, has said that the new design for the road has been submitted to the Federal Government awaiting approval.

The expressway is under 25-year concession. The interim design, according to Babalakin, is tailored to ensure the maximum comfort of Nigerians, saying once the approval is given the construction for which financiers are already lining up will start in full swing.

The Bi-Courtney chief, who said so far they have managed to clear the bottlenecks at Ogere, a community in Ogun State also made known that in the design, “Bi-Courtney is partnering a major company in South Africa that had before done about four major toll roads.”

Sanusi Daggash, minister of works, who two weeks ago inspected the road, said “the ultimate is to ensure that the project takes off and becomes a reality within the shortest possible time.” According to him, the project is expected to be a showcase for Nigeria as a country, to encourage further investments by the private sector as “we strive to provide world class international standard carriageways for Nigerians.”

“I believe the standard of the road that will eventually be built will probably be the first of its kind in Nigeria. We do have standards. But the standards of the PPP project will go beyond our normal standard designs for highways in the country. This is a massive investment. And being a massive investment means that the concessionaire is going to take a lot of risks because based on the PPP feasibility, government more or less expects not to take any risk with regards to guaranteeing either traffic movement or any measure of control,” Daggash stressed.

He said the idea of the project, apart from quality of service delivery, was to guaranty security. “So, we want Nigerians to appreciate that this project is in the overall interest of Nigerians and not necessarily the pockets of Bi-Courtney Consortium,” he also said.

Source: http://www.businessdayonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11425:new-lagos-ibadan-expressway-design-awaiting-fgs-approval-says-babalakin-&catid=85:national&Itemid=340

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48 answers

The road problem is one of the common for many African countries. It is highly problematic for Nigeria. the authorities have started the work on Lagos-Ibadan express way, but they have abandoned it during the Goodluck rule. Presently there is the hope of these works being renewed. The new president Buhari wants to improve the quality of the road, especially after the damage done to it by the rainy season. The future will tell if those hopes would come true or not.

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http://www.punchng.com/index.php/news/item/8898-bi-courtney-blames-bandits-for-gridlock

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December 2011 00:05

Bi-Courtney blames bandits for gridlock

Written by  Sesan Olufowobi ⁠

Lagos-Ibadan expressway concessionaire, Bi-Courtney Highways Services Limited, on Sunday said the armed robbery incident that occurred near the Deeper Life Bible Church  centre was responsible for the Saturday gridlock at the Mowe-Ibafo area of the road.

 

A statement by the spokesman for BCHS, Dipo Kehinde, also said indiscipline and high volume of vehicles were another factors.

He said, “Motorists who were running for their lives, began to drive against the traffic, causing the chaos that took hours to resolve.

“An Editor with the National Mirror said his daughter, who was returning from school, saw it all. The gridlock was not caused by potholes. All eyes can see the improvement on the road. We have been keeping our promises and work is in progress.”

Kehinde said the Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mowe, Ogun State, Mr. Morakinyo Olalekan, commended the concessionaire for keeping the road safe through constant maintenance.

He added that the Head of Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps of Ogun government, Mowe/Ibafo unit, Mr. Gbenga Aderibigbe, agreed that the gridlock was caused by indiscipline and the volume of vehicles travelling in and out of Lagos for the end-of-year festivities.

Kehinde said, “According to Olalekan, there has been no record of road accidents this Yuletide on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. He said there had  been ‘tremendous reduction” in the accident rate on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway because the FRSC has intensified efforts in its patrol duty.

We have tow-trucks along the road. Broken down vehicles do and can cause accidents. We have also instructed our men on how to operate on the highway. The company has been working on the road and I must confess that it is fair now.”

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Friday, 28 October 2011 03:17

Bi-Courtney repairs expressway

Written by Sesan Olufowobi

The concessionaire of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited, on Thursday said it had fixed a portion of the road that collapsed at the Redemption Camp area.

A statement by BCHSL spokessman, Dipo Kehinde, said the firm had been working to keep the expressway in motor-able condition, while preparing for proper reconstruction scheduled to start in November.

Kehinde urged stakeholders to shun the propaganda by some people who were bent on stopping the progress of work on the highway.

He said, “We noticed that a portion of the road was falling apart, so, we moved in to repair it. Those who ply the highway know that BCHSL has kept on working, on a daily basis, to keep the road in motor-able condition, while we prepare for the major work next month.

“We have positioned five groups of workers on the road. Two groups for patching failed portions; two for cleaning, and one for repairing a failed portion at Ogere, where we are also improving the temporary trailer park to clear the bottleneck at that location.”

Kehinde said the company had completed its preparation and would finish the proper construction of the road before the projected date.

“In the last two months, BCHSL has worked on long stretches of the road at Ibafo. This work has contributed appreciably to ease traffic congestion normally experienced along the stretch. We have overlaid long stretches at Fidiwo, Sapade, Alapako, and Kilometre 90, near Ibadan; Fatgbems, at Isheri; Ibafo, and RCCG area. All potholes were patched,” Kehinde said.

http://www.punchng.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=2629:bi-courtney-repairs-expressway&Itemid=542

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So you believe the State Governments will channel these funds into the construction of Federal roads if allocated the funds.

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They should just hand over the bloody road to Lagos / Ogun / Oyo State who would rebuild it and collect tolls on it. We are talking of internal generated revenue yet we are letting a potential goal mine lie in waste.

The FG is overwhelmed with too much load; a donkey that has too much load would kaput. The way forward is for the FG to relinquish herself from most of these mundane responsibilities which the states and even LG can handle if given adequate funds they should transfer them to the state and concentrate on a limited and exclusive list of special projects.

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these people are not serious o! Just wasting time and money

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Ogun repairs parts of Lagos-Ibadan expressway

By Dimeji Kayode Adedeji

July 28, 2011 11:31PM

In order to ameliorate the hardship being experienced by commuters on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, the government of Ogun State has begun repair works on the completely dilapidated portion of the highway at Mowe, opposite the Redeemed Christian Church of God Camp.

While briefing journalists during an inspection tour of the road, the state commissioner for Works, Lekan Adegbite said the state government was uncomfortable with the "appalling" state of the 500-metre stretch of the road and its socio-economic cost to the indigenes of the state, who transact business on the axis.

"The state governor, Ibikunle Amosun was distressed by the horrendous hardship being imposed on the people by the dilapidated road and has therefore decided to effect its repair with or without the concessionaire, Bi-Courtney," Mr Adegbite said.

A major drainage is also being constructed along the stretch in order to ensure the durability of the repaired portion.

Ironically, the state government has been engaged in a battle of wits with Bi-Courtney, the company that won the federal government's concession to manage and repair the largely failed road about four years ago.

Controversial road

The company said the decision of the state governor to allocate a former construction site to tanker drivers who park indiscriminately along the road, is going to affect its work as it had previously won the right to make use of the place. But the state government said the agreement was never sealed and that it had to do something about the trailers, whose activities has led to several accidents and deaths.

The state has also launched remedial work on another failed federal road within its territory, the Lagos-Abeokuta road.

Shortly after a visit by the governor, Ibikunle Amosun to Sango-Ota, where he trekked several kilometres while inspecting the poor road network in the area, minor repairs were effected on the failed portions of the road, specifically at Joju, Garage, Dalemo and Toll Gate.

http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home/5736110-146/story.csp

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“When two elephants fight, the grass suffers; and, when the same two elephants make love, the grass also suffers.” - African Proverb

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The same story according to the current governor's political party "newspaper":

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Bi-Courtney accuses Ogun of stopping work on asphalt site

By Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta 5 hours 38 minutes ago

A row has broken out between Ogun State and Bi-Courtney Highway Services – the concessionaire to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

It is over the ownership of a site the company claimed it acquired for its asphalt plant.

The management of Bi-Courtney yesterday alleged that the state government has stopped it from working from the site.

The company’s spokesman, Dipo Kehinde, in a statement, said the move came less than 24 hours after the Federal Government gave the company a 60-day ultimatum to complete palhative work on the expressway.

He described the action as a wrong move.

But the state government has defended its action.

Kehinde said: "Since the grant of the concession, Ogun State government was taken as a major partner, given that 80 per cent of the highway falls within the state.

He said: "Ogun State was to give us land as its own contribution to the project. The former RCC yard was identified, visited and allocated to us by the Ogun State government. The process entailed joint visit, and assessment before allocation, following all due process.

"To buttress this fact, we duly settled the land owners, promptly, to demonstrate our commitment to the site. The payment to the landowners was done, after due consultation with the state government and confirmation of the landowners at a joint stakeholders meeting with officials of the Bureau of Land. The State Government actually brokered the meeting with the family land owners.

"A search was also conducted at the Ogun State Survey Directorate, and the search report revealed that the property is unencumbered."

The Ogun State commissioner for information, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, had, on Sunday, issued a statement confirming that the state government had approved the site for Bi-Courtney, after the company submitted application for the use of the site on April 20, 2011.

The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, an architect, had, on Saturday, visited the RCC yard as part of his assessment tour, to see what Bi-Courtney has been doing, and how government could assist the company in making an early delivery of the project.

During the inspection tour, which began from the Old Toll-Gate office of Bi-Courtney at 9a.m., the Minister pledged to give all necessary support to hasten work on the reconstruction of the road.

Chairman of Bi-Courtney, Dr. Olawale Babalakin, had earlier raised the alarm, during a visit to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye that some powerful interest groups are trying to frustrate the company’s efforts to deliver the project on time.

"Most people in Nigeria don’t know what concession is all about. There’s no road that has been done through concession in Nigeria before, apart from the Lekki-Epe Expressway, a 45-kilometre road that took the concessionaire five years to start the construction.

http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/news/13646-bi-courtney-accuses-ogun-of-stopping-work-on-asphalt-site.html

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The story according to the former governor's newspaper:

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Amosun leads squad to demolish Babalakin’s N1 billion plant .

Tuesday, 26 July 2011 00:56 Nigerian Compass Hits: 418 .   . .

LESS than 24 hours after the Federal Government gave Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited a 60-day ultimatum to complete palliative works on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State Government at the weekend threatened to dismantle a $6.5 million (about N1 billion) asphalt plant the company bought for the project.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who personally led the team, comprising gun-totting, anti-riot policemen and some state government officials, ordered his men to dismantle the plant.

Besides, Amosun directed his government’s bulldozers to demolish the structure erected for the project by Bi-Courtney Highway Services, because he wanted to use the site for a trailer park and market.

The action came after the site had been approved by Amosun for Bi-Courtney “and we don’t know why he suddenly changed his mind,” said one of the workers.

But, for the resistance put by the Chief Security Officer of the concessionaire, Colonel Adeola Olabiyi (rtd), and his team, the governor would have pulled down the multi-million naira structure.

Despite this, the governor ordered the mobile policemen to lead one of the bulldozers to demolish the structure but when they saw the resistance of Olabiyi and his team, “they could not move and the governor felt disappointed that his order was not carried out”.

An eyewitness said: “We were really afraid. The governor told his policemen to draw their guns and the Bi-Courtney people also drew their guns. We thought they were going to start exchanging fire and for the fact that the governor was there, people started running. Can you imagine what could have happened if the two teams started shooting? I don’t know why the governor should personally lead the demolition squad. Is that the work of a governor? Why should he be going all over the place with policemen to terrorise people working legitimately?

“This is not the first time he would do this. The other time, he led policemen to a particular structure in Lagos and he was eventually embarrassed because the owner called the Inspector-General who ordered that all the policemen should leave the place. Why should the governor be embarrassing himself this way? Even military administrators didn’t behave this way. Thousands of motorists go through hell everyday on this road and now that they think that the road will be fixed, he has come again with his policy somersault. This action is shameful”.

In a statement issued yesterday, Bi-Courtney’s spokesman, Dipo Kehinde, described the action as a wrong move.

He said: “Since the grant of the concession, Ogun State Government was taken as a major partner, given that 80 per cent of the highway falls within the state.

“Ogun State was to give us land as its own contribution to the project. The former RCC yard was identified, visited and allocated to us by the Ogun State Government. The process entailed joint visit and assessment before allocation, following all due process.

“To buttress this fact, we duly settled the land owners, promptly, to demonstrate our commitment to the site. The payment to the landowners was done after due consultation with the state government and confirmation of the landowners at a joint stakeholders meeting with officials of the Bureau of Land. The state government actually brokered the meeting with the family land owners.

“A search was also conducted at the Ogun State Survey Directorate, and the search report revealed that the property is unencumbered.”

The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, had, on Sunday, issued a statement confirming that the state government had approved the site for Bi-Courtney, after the company submitted application for the use of the site on April 20, this year.

The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, had, on Saturday, visited the RCC yard as part of his assessment tour, to see what Bi-Courtney has been doing and how the government could assist the company in making an early delivery of the project.

During the inspection tour, which began from the Old Toll-Gate office of Bi-Courtney at 9a.m., the minister pledged to give all necessary support to hasten work on the reconstruction of the road.

He mentioned the idea of involving army engineers in some aspects of the project, saying: “We shouldn’t saddle Bi-Courtney with the task of securing the Right of Way (ROW). We are going to bring in army engineers to assist.”

When asked if the ministry is considering the review of the concession with Bi-Courtney, Onolememen said: “No. There’s nothing like that. Bi-Courtney has been on track. There are processes in the execution of this project and the company has followed due process. The final design was approved on May 10.”

He said that the involvement of army engineers would help to secure the ROW, which is one of the major constraints in the execution of the project.

The Chairman of Bi-Courtney, Dr. Olawale Babalakin, had earlier raised the alarm, during a visit to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, that some powerful interest groups are trying to frustrate the company’s efforts to deliver the project on time.

Said Babalakin: “Most people in Nigeria don’t know what concession is all about. There’s no road that has been done through concession in Nigeria before, apart from the Lekki-Epe Expressway, a 45-kilometre road that took the concessionaire five years to start the construction.

“Many people don’t want us to build that road. There have been several stumbling blocks. We’ve been having problems with many powerful mediocres. Many people, whose structures will be affected have gone to court. There are 55 illegal petrol stations on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.”

Onolememen told reporters in an interview that the Federal Government did the right thing by giving the road project out as a concession.

He said: “This is a modern way of financing projects in the country now, because it is clear to us that the budgetary allocation of the Federal Government cannot match the demand for road rehabilitation and reconstruction in this country.

“There are basic things we would do very quickly; we want to ensure that within 60 days that the sufferings on the road be reduced.

“The final design was approved in May, this year, by the Federal Ministry of Works; our estate valuers have just completed work on the enumeration of properties on the Right of Way last week. By September, full work should start. But, before then, areas requiring urgent repairs must be attended to.

“If you look at the agreement concerning the road, there are steps to be taken. In the past one year, there have been phases they (Bi-Courtney) have had to comply with.”

http://www.nigeriancompass.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2181:amosun-leads-squad-to-demolish-babalakins-n1-billion-plant&catid=54:nigeria-today

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http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201107263185245

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About time too.

When will the deadline end exactly?

We are watching and waiting. . .

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http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201107253183062

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Thanks for the update

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http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201107171295451

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ALERT!!!! Planned demolition of ALL structures 61m from Lagos Ibadan Expressway Ojota to Berger

Bicourtney started marking the structures from Ojota last week.

Developers and builders beware

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FG to award Lagos-Ibadan rail contract soon – Jonathan

On July 6, 2011 · In News ,

By EMMA UJAH

ABUJA— PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, announced far-reaching measures towards accelerating the nation’s economic growth through boosting agricultural output and provision of infrastructure in which a Lagos-Ibadan speed train line contract would soon be awarded.

President Jonathan who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo said at the opening of the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending, NIRSAL, conference that contract will soon be awarded for a standard fast train link between Lagos and Ibadan.

The president who noted that the present infrastructure situation in the country was unacceptable, said his administration was tackling infrastructure deficit across the nation head-on.

He said electricity power supply and transportation were being given priority attention in recognition of their multiplier effects on other sectors of the economy.

The president lamented that the huge annual food import bill of N630 billion was crashing the nation’s foreign reserves said the Federal Government would establish six fertilizer plants, one in each geo-political zone, to make the product readily available to farmers for increased yield.

He added that River Benue would also be dredged up to Yola, Adamawa State.

President Jonathan said: “Robust economic growth can only be achieved if all the economic agents are judiciously committed working assiduously towards committing their resources to this noble course.”

He noted that the on_going programme for agriculture and food security would serve as a platform for preparing the road_map for the implementation of all government_assisted agricultural programme.

He admitted that although in the last five years, the agricultural sector has contributed about 40 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and 60 per cent of employment, the encouraging growth has not sufficiently impacted on the socio_economic lives of the nation as Nigeria continued to depend on other nations for her food requirements.

Governor of Central Bank, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had said that all well_informed Nigerians agreed that the nation had the potentials to be great and that agriculture presents the best path to that dream land.

He said: “This idea of common vision, therefore, is not new. What I think is new is the perspective of what has to be done, when, how and by whom.”

Sanusi called for the re_designing and embracing of a holistic approach in addressing the various challenges confronting the nation’s agricultural sector.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2011/07/fg-to-award-lagos-ibadan-rail-contract-soon-%E2%80%94jonathan/

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More uselessness from another Federal Ministry. What a surprise.

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the journalist should try to actually get the side of the other story, Bi-Courtney have been blaming the ministry ever since knowing they wont make a statement

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*deleted*

duplicate post

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Bi-Courtney starts work on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

By Sesan Olufowobi

Tuesday, 28 Jun 2011

Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited on Monday said it was set to commence the complete the reconstruction and expansion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The assurance by the company came after a series of media reports on delay in commencement of work on the project two years after the concession was granted.

The company’s Head of Communications and Media Relations, Mr. Dipo Kehinde, in a statement, acknowledged the interest of the people in the state of the road and explained that the delay was due largely to the bureaucracy of having its design approved as required by the terms of the concession.

He said the concession, which is on Design-Build-Operate-Transfer basis, must get its design approved by the Federal Ministry of Works before work could commence, adding that the approval was only given on May 10, 2011 because of frequent changes of ministers.

Kehinde said, “Now that the final design has been approved, we are embarking on restoration work to ease the pains of motorists, and our men have moved out to start the basic things now.

“We have also secured the funds needed, though not from Nigeria. We are ready to start work full blast once the rainy season is over. As you know, there is no way you can build roads during the rains.”

http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art2011062847778

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Tackling carnage on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

By Tayo Ogunbiyi

Thursday, 2 Jun 2011

When in May 2009, the Federal Government signed a concession agreement with Bi-Courtney Limited (the Concessionaire) for the Lagos-Ibadan expressway modernisation project, the general consensus across the land was that help was around the corner at last. However, two years after, the hope has given way to despair as the expectations of people concerning the road seem to have been dashed. The age long traffic problem experienced on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, particularly at Ibafo and Ogere, has continued to pose a great challenge to the socio–economic development and security of Ogun State and Nigeria at large, considering the nature and importance of the expressway in question.

Having successfully rehabilitated Murtala Mohammed Airport 2 to international standard, the Federal Government believed that the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, unarguably Nigeria’s busiest expressway, could be well managed by Bi-Courtney. The project is aimed at improving substantially upon the current geometric standards of the road; expand the carriageway into a limited access eight lanes divided highway between Lagos and the Sagamu interchange and a limited access of six lanes divided highway between the Sagamu interchange and Ibadan. Equally, modern expressway services and facilities to be introduced include dawn lighting, improved and new interchanges, a new drainage system, recessed service areas, lay-by emergency parking areas, footbridges in heavy pedestrian areas, weigh bridges, electronic traffic control and obligatory/informative signs. Under the DBOT, there will be no monetary cost to the government. Bi-Courtney is to raise all the required funding, largely through equity and long term loans and to a much lesser extent, from revenue generated from the operation of the highway.

However, all this have not really been translated into concrete improvement on the state of the road as recent events reveal. It is obvious that something urgent need to be done to improve the state of the road. No one knows what is the situation with regards to the FGN- Bi-Courtney pact. What is sure, however, is that the road is in dire need of help. Users of the road don’t care about who is not doing what but are interested in what should be done and how soon it could be done. What we have on our hands is an emergency that cannot wait for the usual Nigerian style of foot-dragging. If indeed, human lives mean anything to us, the time is ripe for the Federal Government to tackle issues relating to the road head -long. Imagine the number of foreigners that ply the road on a daily basis. Imagine their perception of the country. For all our cry about attracting foreign investments into the country, if we cannot take care of minute details such as improving a major highway that could enhance such investments, then we had better forgotten it. The state of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway is a serious damage to the much publicised rebranding project of the Federal Government. Being the main expressway, providing the primary link between Lagos, the former administrative capital and major commercial centre and other parts of Nigeria and hence, a road of primary economic and social importance to the nation, it is imperative that the Federal Government take urgent steps to ensure that the situation of the road improves.

One thing that is not really clear is who is actually in charge of the road presently. Bi Courtney, the concessionaire, appears to be overwhelmed by the huge financial outlay of the project. The Federal Government, as it is, might be working on the perspective that the road is no longer its responsibility while the Ogun state Government lacks the needed capacity to provide the needed intervention. The consequence is that travelling on the road has become a nightmare . Indeed, the road is fast turning into a centre of un-ending carnage. Three people were recently killed in an early morning explosion that resulted into multiple vehicles accident on the road. Three articulated tankers laden with petroleum products and another truck were also completely burnt in the accident that created serious panic for early users of the ever-busy expressway.

The issues involved on the road are multi-faceted. For one, it is in a real bad shape and needs urgent rehabilitation. No more, no less. Second, the nuisance of trailer drivers on the road is becoming quite alarming. Not only that they drive recklessly, but they also park their trailers indiscriminately. They have become a law unto themselves. Nobody seems to be capable of getting them to act responsibly. On the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, there is one law for other drivers and a different one for the trailer drivers. The indiscriminate parking of trailers on either side of the road is a serious factor in the painful traffic gridlock that commuters regularly suffer on the road. Some of the truck drivers plying the expressway are reckless and recalcitrant, an attitude that has become a major cause of this age-long traffic challenge on the expressway. Third, incessant cases of abandoned vehicles constitute a major hindrance to motorists on the highway. Also, the transformation of the axis into a vast business and residential hub, with emerging communities such as Arepo, Magboro, Ibafo, Asese, Olowotedo, Pakuro among others, has equally heightened traffic chaos along the road. Of equal importance is the location of the international headquarters of many religious bodies along the axis. Even though they have evolved strategic means of traffic control to ensure free flow of traffic during their programmes, efforts need to be intensified to improve on these traffic management strategies.

The attendant road crashes occasioned by the dilapidated state of the road and the fall-outs-deaths, injuries and destruction to properties (vehicles, goods etc) have, no doubt, come with enormous economic cost. In its most recent record, the Federal Road Safety Corps disclosed that Nigeria lost three per cent of her GDP which translated to 17 per cent of current national reserves through road traffic crashes in 2009. The income loss from 2009 and road traffic crashes in Nigeria was more than the GDP of over 20 individual African countries. No nation that is desirous of economic development and growth will handle with levity a situation where its vibrant work force and other citizens are wantonly wasted through otherwise avoidable occurrences as in the case of the carnage on Nigerian roads. To put the Nigerian economy on the lane to speedy recovery and growth, the Federal Government would have to immediately commit itself to a result-driven programme that would make the road a driver’s delight. There must be a timeframe known and acceptable to Nigerians for the completion of this road if the Federal Government must convince the people that we are in a new dispensation with the fresh breath of air. It must do everything to nudge the concessionaire into action to demonstrate that the administration is serious about giving the masses the fresh breath of air the nation deserve.

-Ogunbiyi is of the Features Unit, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

http://www.punchontheweb.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201106022124068

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Uncertainty over Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project

By Rasheed Bisiriyu

Sunday, 19 Jun 2011

The planned reconstruction and modernisation of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway may have been put on hold as the concessionaire is still awaiting the final draft of the road design from the Federal Ministry of Works.

The development came just as it was learnt that the concessionaire had not sealed any funding arrangement with local or international financial institutions for the project.

A source at the Lagos office of Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited, the concessionaire, told our correspondent on Thursday that the company could not embark on full-scale reconstruction work without the approved design.

The final design, it was learnt, incorporated the scope of work, the engineering design, bill of engineering measurement and evaluation as well as the Environmental Impact Assessment report.

The scope of work will involve the full reconstruction of the existing carriageways from Lagos to Ibadan; the provision of two additional lanes in each direction between Lagos and Sagamu Interchange, making it four lanes; the provision of associated facilities for the security and welfare of road users, as well as ensuring a free flow of traffic and a toll collection plaza.

Another source at the ministry, who confirmed that they were holding on to the project design, said only the new minister could decide when to release it.

He spoke to our correspondent on Thursday on the condition that his name would not be published because he was not authorised to talk on the issue.

The Chairman, Highway Services, Dr. Wale Babalakin, said last year that proper rehabilitation and reconstruction work would commence in January this year.

Babalakin, who said then that the final design of the project had been submitted to the ministry for ratification, added, however, that the firm was embarking on a remedial work to make the road passable for those travelling home for the Christmas and New Year festivities.

He had said, “Between now and the end of the year, we intend to make the road passable by ensuring that there are no craters and potholes on the road that can hinder movement. By the time we move into next year, we would have commenced more extensive work.”

The immediate past Minister of Works, Senator Sanusi Daggash, had earlier said, “Over one year after signing the project contract, we are still looking at the drawings, which is something that should have been done with the other elements of the PPP transaction before now.”

The Federal Government handed over the 105-kilometre road to the company on May 26, 2009, on a concession agreement to renovate, expand, modernise and maintain it for a period of 25 years.

But more than two years after that historic handover, no major work has been done on the road.

Our correspondent had earlier reported that the company had contacted some foreign financiers for the project but the inability to secure a local bank to guarantee the deal had stalled the arrangement.

Although Bi-Courtney had patched and graded some failed sections of the road from Lagos to Sagamu Exchange, investigation by our correspondent showed that the Ibadan section of the road had remained in a bad state.

Motorists also complained about some bumpy portions of the road, which were said to have been a major cause of accidents, especially whenever it rained.

Manholes are a major feature of some spots. For instance, from the Berger point to end of the long bridge, a stretch of about 8km, our correspondent counted about 30 manholes.

And there had been crashes as drivers tried to evade each death-trap (manhole).

Trailer menace is still a major problem on the road, especially at Ogere, Ibafo and Magboro.

The number of trucks on these spots recently increased considerably after the Lagos State Government threatened to impound heavy duty vehicles parked haphazardly along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, which were blocking the road from Mile 2 end to Apapa.

Reacting to the development, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, said it was talking to the two parties to ensure that the project commenced in earnest.

It, however, stressed that it could not force the ministry to sign the approved design, and added that it was holding regular meetings with them, providing the necessary guide so that this concession does not go the way of past failed projects.

Details of the concession agreement indicated that “the concessionaire shall at its own cost prepare the road and the construction facilities in accordance with all requirements of this agreement.

“Let me assure Nigerians that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be constructed as the most attractive, users-friendly and environmental-friendly designed road, not only in Nigeria, but also in Africa,” Babalakin had said.

He also said that both the remedial and major reconstruction works would be executed with minimal disruption to the movement of vehicles on the road.

Already, he said a new route was being created at Kilometre 32, where traffic would be diverted at the peak of work for ease of movement.

Road signs and sign posts had also been erected to warn motorists and other road users at the approach of major construction site and dangerous spots.

The project, whose cost is put at N89bn, will also involve the provision of parking areas for heavy duty vehicles; rest areas with eateries and conveniences; emergency communications equipment and clinics and emergency ambulances.

Other facilities to be provided are electronic traffic control and enforcement measures; highway lighting between 7pm and 6am through the installation of a gas-fired plant; overhead pedestrian bridges at designated locations; modern toll points with electronic tolling system; and modern road signs and lane markings.

http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art20110619103771

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Rainfall: Flood looms in Lagos as govt warns residents to quit tributaries

Written by Kunle Awosiyan, Lagos

Sunday, 29 May 2011

LAGOS State Government on Saturday advised residents living around the tributaries of Ogun River to move away due to the impending flood that may occur during this rainy season.

The State Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Engr. Muyideen Akinsanya, gave this warning.

He added that there would be heavy downpour, which would eventually lead to flooding in some parts of the state this year.

Areas such as Mile 12, Agiliti, Thomas Laniyan Estate, Owode-Onirin, Agboyi, Owode Elede and Isheri North Scheme, are susceptible to flooding.

He also said that the state government would soon complete the residential structures being built at Agbowa for the residents of the affected areas to move in.

According to him, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has predicted heavy rain, which will consequently increase the water volume of the various dams.

“These dams are likely to overflow or collapse if not opened, and when this happens, properties and lives along its path will be destroyed,” he said.

Considering the fact that the state government lacks effective disaster management machinery in the area of flooding, the permanent secretary called on residents to abide by the numerous environmental laws.

He urged the residents to desist from throwing garbage in the drains and canals; desist from building structures along the drain, and vacate water path in case of heavy flooding.

As a proactive measure to combat the looming flooding, Akinsanya said that the government had built over 133 concrete secondary storm water collector drainages with which more than 8.2 million people had benefitted.

To change the attitude of the residents from blocking the drains, Akinsnya said that a control strategy and surveillance had been developed by the State Waste Management Authority to prevent dumping of refuse in the drains.

http://www.tribune.com.ng/sun/index.php/news/4001-rainfall-flood-looms-in-lagos-as-govt-warns-residents-to-quit-tributaries

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Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, my priority –Senator-elect

By Olalekan Adetayo, Ibadan

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Senator-elect, representing Oyo South, Chief Olufemi Lanlehin, has said that his first task in the Senate is to ensure that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which is currently in a deplorable state, is repaired within a short time.

He said it was his desire that the road be repaired and brought to world standard.

Lanlehin made his position known during an interview with journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Thursday.

He said it was appalling that the road, which he described as the busiest in Africa, could be in such a deplorable state.

He said the present state of the road is having negative impacts on the economy of the people of his constituency and the country in general.

He observed that the effect of the bad road was more felt because the nation lacked functional railway system.

“The number of lives being lost on that road is mind-boggling. As a senator, I will network with other senators to make sure that the road is put in shape.

“I am passionate about it and I will do everything possible to ensure the repair of that road within the shortest possible time,” he said.

Lanlehin also made a case for true federalism, saying that the amount of money at the disposal of the Federal Government was too much.

“For the Federal Government to have over 52 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue is not fair. There should be a re-appraisal of the duties and powers of the Federal Government vis-a-vis the duties and revenues of state and local governments,” he observed.

http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201105062264248

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Ogun will complete Oparo River dredging soon –Osikoya

By Akinpelu Dada

Monday, 18 Apr 2011

The Ogun State Government has said that the dredging of the Oparo River in Isheri area will be completed before the advent of the rainy season.

Failure to dredge the river in the past had led to severe flooding of most parts of the Riverview Esate, Isheri, with property owners suffering heavy losses there annually. However, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Kehinde Osikoya, said that the dredging worked, which commenced some weeks back, would allow the river to accommodate excess water usually released from the Oyan Dam by the Ogun Osun River Basin Development Authority.

Such excess water, he explained, would easily run into the Majidun River in Lagos State without causing any erosion or flooding problem.

A statement by the Director of Information and Site Publicity, Ogun State Road Management Agency, Mr. Biodun Awere, on Friday, quoted Osikoya as saying that the completion of an earth canal would also ease the passage of water into the river.

Osikoya, who is also the chief executive of OGROMA, was also quoted as saying that the permanent solution to the flooding situation in Riverview Estate was the total dredging of the River Ogun by the Federal Government, noting that the fund required for the project was beyond the capacity of the state government.

He also said that measures were already being put in place to reclaim all service roads in the Isheri axis to enhance smooth movement by the people in the area.

Meanwhile, Osikoya has assured citizen of the state, particularly motorists, that the ongoing reconstruction of the Isale-Igbein Bridge in Abeokuta will be completed before May 29.

He said that the main structure of the bridge had been constructed and that what remained was the back filling and asphalt overlay.

According to him, OGROMA engineers are working round the clock in order to meet the target date, while not compromising quality job.

The delay in the reconstruction of the bridge, he said, was as a result of the late release of money from the Ecological Fund by the Federal Government.

http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201104181381196

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Can anyone confirm this?

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We’ll repair Lagos-Ibadan Expressway before Christmas – Babalakin

By Rasheed Bisiriyu

Friday, 3 Dec 2010

THE Chairman, Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin, on Thursday, said the company had commenced remedial work on the deteriorating sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway ahead of the Christmas festivities.

The Federal Government handed over the 105-kilometre road to the company on May 26, 2009, on a concession agreement to renovate, expand, modernise and maintain it for a period of 25 years.

Babalakin, who spoke at a press conference on the state of the project at the old toll gate, Lagos, said that proper rehabilitation and reconstruction work would commence in January next year.

Even as he said that the final design of the project had been submitted to the Federal Ministry of Works for ratification, he stressed that the remedial work would make the road passable for those travelling home for the yuletide.

He said, ”Between now and the end of the year, we intend to make the road passable by ensuring that there are no craters and potholes on the road that can hinder movement. By the time we move into next year, we would have commenced more extensive work.”

Although Babalakin did not disclose the funding arrangement for the project, he said that the company would deliver a first class road that would be the pride of the nation.

”Let me assure Nigerians that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be constructed as the most attractive, users-friendly and environmental-friendly designed road, not only in Nigeria, but also in Africa,” he said.

He also explained that the delay in the commencement of major works on the road was to perfect the design and ensure that the final output was of international standard.

The final design, according to him, has incorporated the scope of work, Environmental Impact Assessment report, engineering design, bill of engineering measurement and evaluation.

Babalakin also said that both the remedial and major reconstruction works would be executed with minimal disruption to the movement of vehicles on the road.

Already, he said a new route was being created at Kilometre 32, where traffic would be diverted at the peak of work for ease of movement.

Road signs and sign posts have also been erected to warn motorists and other road users at the approach of major construction site and dangerous spots

Source: http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art20101203317279

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Revalidation of Title in Papalanto/Sagamu axis

The Ogun State Government has approved the following policy guidelines for the REVALIDATION of titles within the Papalanto/Sagamu corridor.

1. Excision of all identified and existing communities, villages, towns will be carried out immediately.

2. Revalidation of Title of Private Real Estate Developers who have obtained requisite title and planning approvals will be done subject to:

1. Submission of Title and Planning Approvals earlier obtained for verification and review to ensure conformity with the State Regional Plan

2. Payment of Capital Development Levy and Neighbourhood Infrastructural Charge.

3. Land/Property owners without registered titles or planning approvals obtained before the acquisition can apply for title REVALIDATION under the following conditions:

1. Proof of genuine Title to the Land/Property.

2. Conformity/Compliance of the proposed or existing land use to the State Regional Plan.

3. Payment of statutory title revalidation fees including Capital, Development Levy and Neighbourhood Infrastructure Fund.

4. All other conditions as may be imposed by the government.

POINT MAN FOR OGUN STATE LAND

Surv. Gbenga Ogunnoiki,

Director General (Lands)

Bureau of Lands & Survey

(Behind Central Bank)

Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta.

07065753806, 07037858228

e-mail: dgbls@ogunlands.com

website: www.ogunlands.com

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Published 10/14/2010 2:43:00 PM

We won’t stop releasing water from Oyan Dam — Agency

Francis Falola

The management of the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority has said the agency will not stop the release of excess water from the Oyan Dam, explaining stoppage will endanger the lives and properties of people along the river channel.

In an interview with journalists in Abeokuta on Wednesday on the recent floods in some parts of Lagos and Ogun States, which were widely blamed on the release of water from the dam, the management of the dam led by its Acting Managing Director, Mr. Rasaq Jimoh, denied the allegation, attributing the floods to climate change.

He said, “If we stop the release of the excess water, the safety of the dam will be put into jeopardy and this will have severe consequences on the lives and properties of the people.

“It may lead to the collapse of the dam and this is going to lead to loss of lives of millions of people with billions of properties destroyed as towns and villages along the river channel will be wiped off.”

He said the agency never released water at night in the night but during the day to enable affected communities take precautionary measures.

The authority claimed that its investigation, which included a helicopter survey of the basin and the affected areas, carried out in conjunction with the Ogun State Government, identified the cause of the flood as global climate change that brought about exceptionally high rainfall globally this year, causing a rise in the Atlantic Ocean level and forcing Lagos Lagoon water level to rise and spread into the flood prone areas.

According to him, “A vast area of land (about 120 square kilometer) lying between Ikorodu/Kosofe/Ilate is flood prone and directly under the influence of backflow from the Lagos lagoon. This area is shared by both Lagos and Ogun States .

“Therefore, water from Oyan River , into which the water released from Oyan Dam flows, could only be a small fraction of the aggregate rain water flowing into the Ogun River from these tributaries which include River Ewekoro, Opeji River, Eredu River Iwopin River , Sokori River, Owiwi River and Abjire River among others.

The agency also blamed the flood situation on the construction of structures close to the river bank disregarding warning of “Green Belt Areas,” adding that the structures were put in place by the developers without consideration of possible flood.

He maintained that the existence of the dam had helped in controlling flooding, insisting that the release of water, which he said was usually done gradually, was not the reason for the flood.

He also disclosed that the authority had embarked on proactive measures by ensuring that the water from the dam was released to the barest minimum.

He stated the need for radical and holistic approach from the Lagos and Ogun State governments, Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority, National Environment Maintenance Agency; State Environmental Maintenance Agency and the owner of estates and buildings in the flood prone areas as well as other stakeholders.

source: http://www.punchng.com/Article2Print.aspx?theartic=Art2010101414471225

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^^

hmm.

I almost picked up a property in River View (the Ogun side of Isheri north) a couple of years back.

Decided to go for the area where Punch is now, Magboro.

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Published 10/12/2010 12:21:00 AM

Flooding: Daniel raises the alarm over Lagos-Ibadan Expressway bridge

Francis Falola, Abeokuta

Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel on Monday raised the alarm over the precarious state of the long bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

He said it could collapse as a result of the flood revaging the area where the bridge is located.

The bridge links Lagos with other parts of the country.

Daniel raised the alarm while receiving the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Mohammed Sanni Sidi, who led officials of the agency to Ogun to assess the extent of the damage done by the massive flooding in the state.

The governor said the problem required an immediate intervention from the Federal Government, adding that if urgent steps were not taken the long bridge on the Expressway may be severely weakened by the flood and may eventually collapse.

He described this year as a most challenging one for Ogun State in terms of natural disasters.He declared the Isheri axis of the state and other contiguous areas affected by the flood, occasioned by heavy rainfall and the release of water from the Oyan Dam by the Ogun Osun River Basin Authority, as disaster zone.

The Governor said apart from palliative measures put in place through the State Emergency Management Agency, the government also set up a technical work group to find a lasting solution to the perennial flood problem on the course of the Ogun River.

He said the technical group had advised, through its preliminary report, that only the construction of three massive artificial lakes in the affected areas would put a stop to the flooding.

“However, since the construction requires major funding which is beyond the capacity of the State Government, the Federal Government should immediately come to the aid of the State,” the governor declared.

The governor recalled that a major rainstorm ravaged Sagamu four months ago, destroying over 50 houses and several school buildings. He added that another rainstorm ravaged the state capital, Abeokuta, destroying four major bridges and several houses.

He, however, said the flood in the Isheri axis was beyond the capacity of the state government because of the scope of the disaster.

Sidi, who said he came with his officials to commiserate with the government and people of Ogun State, said he would also visit the affected areas to determine the extent of damage.

He said he would also make necessary recommendations to the Federal Government. He commended Daniel for the prompt intervention of agencies in the state and promised that NEMA would work with the state government to provide relief to victims of the disaster.

source: http://www.punchng.com/Article2Print.aspx?theartic=Art201010120222081

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Ogun, Lagos set to tackle flooding from Oyan dam overflow .

Monday, 11 October 2010 00:00 By Tunde Alao

AMID renewed calls for a permanent solution to the persistent flooding of communities located downstream of Oyan dam in Ogun and Lagos states, authorities at the weekend warned that a major response may not be forthcoming till the rains abate.

The opening of Oyan dam last week by the Ogun River Basin Authority had led to flooding that displaced hundreds of residents in the downstream communities, which were submerged by the flood.

Earlier on Wednesday, a technical work group set up by the Ogun State Government to find a lasting solution to the perennial flood problem on the course of the Ogun River had embarked on a reconnaissance tour of the affected areas via helicopter.

However, after the chopper took members through the course of the Ogun River from Oyan dam through the neighbourhood of River View Estate, Isheri and to Majidun River, they hinted that except the rain subside, the situation may not be easily addressed.

According to the Chief Press Secretary to the Ogun State Governor, Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo, the committee, headed by the Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Infrastructure, Mr. Kehinde Osikoya, an engineer, has as members, the Chief Executive Officer of Sparklight Estate, Mr. Toyin Adeyinka, a representative of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA) and an unnamed “expert consultant on de-flooding”.

Included on the mandate given the group by Governor Gbenga Daniel was to study the causes of the flooding, the extent of its coverage and the damage done to the environment and come up with a final solution.

Osikoya, who described the flooding as worrisome, said what used to occur once every 10 years had recently become a yearly occurrence, due to the incidence of global warming and the extreme weather conditions being experienced worldwide.

The special adviser, who said the flood situation in the affected areas worsened this year because of the unusually high level of rainfall that is yet to abate, assured that the technical work group would come up with a workable solution to the problem.

Governor Daniel also said that because of the scale of the ecological problem in the affected zone, the appropriate organ of the Federal Government had been notified.

Meanwhile, affected groups in Owode Elede, Agboyi, Majidun in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State also called on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter.

Expressing concern over safety of lives and property in the affected areas, the head of Majidun community, Chief Moshood Aderibigbe, said the volume of water being released from the dam is much greater than what used to be released in the past.

“Now that the effect of climate change and heavy downpour have caused the heavy flooding, we expect the representative of the Federal Government, especially the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) to come to our aid. This is beyond what any state government can handle. We expect similar treatment to the way a community in Plateau State, which suffered a similar fate was treated by the Federal Government, especially, if the dam can be either expanded or relocated to a safer place.”

By the weekend, the flood had taken over the main road connecting metropolitan Lagos with Ikorodu, Epe and Ijebu-Ode, thus, forcing commuters to use the Shagamu-Ijebu-Ode/Redeemed Christian Church of God route, a journey that increased the distance by almost 45 kilometres.

Source: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=25578:ogun-lagos-set-to-tackle-flooding-from-oyan-dam-overflow&catid=25:property&Itemid=655

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Published 10/8/2010 3:07:00 AM

Fear grips communities near flooded areas

Francis Falola, Simon Utebor, Success Nwogu and Etim Ekpimah

Communities near the areas affected by the floods that left some parts of Lagos and Ogun states almost submerged are gripped by fear.

Our correspondents, who went round Arepo, Ogun State and Ojodu Berger, Kaara, Mile 12 and Agiliti in Lagos State, reported that there was panic as people made to escape the floods. People living in the communities that are yet to be affected by the floods also expressed fears that the floods could reach their areas soon.

Some of them told our correspondents said they preferred to move out as there was no guarantee that the floods would not spread.

A resident of the Journalists Estate, Arepo, Ifo Local Government Area, Mr. Ben Alaiya, described the flood as a threat, even as he appealed to the government to come to the aid of the people displaced by the floods.

“The flood is a threat to the inhabitants. Whenever it rains, our area is always flooded. There is the need for government to quickly intervene. This place is part of the megacity being planned by the Lagos and Ogun state governments,” Alaiya, a journalist, said.

The Baale of Agiliti, Isheri-Ikosi Local Government, Lagos State, Mr. Omotosho Akinola, said, ”Our area is yet to be affected yet. However, if (government) can help us to stop the water from flooding our area, we will welcome that.” Agiliti, which is by a river, is not far from Owode-Onirin, one of the affected areas.

The flood, which began on Monday, is believed to have been caused by the release of the waters in the Oyan Dam in Ogun State. However, the management of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority has denied this, saying that its investigations showed that the flood was caused by climate change. The authority claimed that an aerial survey of the basin and the affected areas, carried out in conjunction with the Ogun State Government, showed that climate change was responsible.

The Head, Public Relations, Ogun, Oyo River Basin Development Authority, Mr. Femi Dokumu, told PUNCH METRO in Abeokuta on Thursday, that climate change, which had resulted in exceptionally high rainfall globally this year, induced a rise in the Atlantic Ocean water levels.

“A vast area of land (about 120 square kilometres) lying between Ikorodu/Kosofe/Ilate is a floodplain. This area is directly under the influence of the backflow from the Lagos lagoon and it is shared by both Lagos and Ogun states. Therefore, waters from Oyan Dam could only be a small fraction of the aggregate rainwater flowing into the Ogun River from these tributaries,” he said.

He also blamed builders, who usually ignored the danger inherent in putting up buildings in “Green Belt Areas”, for the flooding. Dokumu, who explained that water was usually released from the dam gradually, added that the existence of the dam had even gone a long way in controlling flooding in the two states.

He said the authority had taken proactive measures to ensure that the water from the dam was released minimally, even in the dry season.

When asked for the solutions to the problem, he suggested that both the Lagos and Ogun state governments, the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority, the National Emergency Management Authority, evironment agencies and owners of estates and buildings in the flood-prone areas would need to adopt radical and wholistic measures.

However, the Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Sina Kawonise, said that the Federal Government would have to help the two states to solve the problem.

He said, “The release of water from Oyan dam, which is a Federal Government establishment, also contributed to the flood with a lot of businesses affected.

“The state government in assessing the situation has hired a helicopter to look into the areas. We have discovered that the Federal Government‘s assistance is needed just as it was done in Sokoto State. The cost involved in addressing the problems is enormous, so Federal Government’s urgent intervention is needed.”

At Mokore, Arepo, our correspondents saw agitated residents, including schoolchildren, scrambling to board the few canoes that were conveying people from the flooded areas to the landed areas.

An employee of Kebat Structural Engineering Company Limited, Arepo, Mr. Kolade Tolutade, said the company had lost more than N12m worth of customers’ materials to the flood.

At Isheri-Olofin near Kaara, residents affected by the flood were seen crying as they made efforts to secure their property.

A medical doctor with the Holy Trinity Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Dr. Lawrence Onyebuchi, urged government to step in and control the situation, in order to forestall an epidemic.

He warned that the probability that people in these areas would contract diseases like cholera, bloody urinary disease, malaria and other diseases was high. He urged the government to evacuate the people affected or construct drainage channels, which would drain the floods.

Source: http://www.punchng.com/Article2Print.aspx?theartic=Art201010083135542

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Floods: Residents count losses as canoe operators rake in money

By Francis Falola, Olalekan Adetayo, Simon Utebor and Success Nwogu

Thursday, 7 Oct 2010

The release of water by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority from Oyan Dam in Abeokuta North Local Government of Ogun State in August 2010 is a typical case of different strokes for different folks.

While some residents are counting their losses as floods have sacked most of them from their homes and rendered their means of livelihood useless, others, particularly canoe operators, are making brisk business.

A canoe operator, Mr. Olatunji Johnson, told PUNCH METRO on Wednesday that since the floods had created artificial ‘river‘ in areas along the bank of the Ogun River, he had been laughing all the way to the bank.

At his Agiliti area in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos, where he operates his canoe, Johnson told our correspondent that he made more than N6,000 daily ferrying people through Maidan Road, which had since been submerged in floodwaters.

“We charge them between N30 and N50 during the day and evening respectively. On a daily basis, I make more than N6,000. I tell you, canoe business here is a big business now.”

Another canoe operator, Mr. Zacheaus Odunsi, was full of smiles when PUNCH METRO sought his comment on the effect of the ravaging floods.

But the rosy pictures painted by Johnson and Odunsi are completely non-existent in Onyemaechi Uzoamaka‘s world.

Uzoamaka, who said the floods had made him homeless, added that now regretted not heeding the advice of some of his friends, who warned him not rent an apartment in the area in 2009.

A resident of Church Street in Kosofe, who identified himself simply as Tunde, said this year‘s floods were unprecedented.

”It was not like this in the previous years. As I speak, the majority of residents of the areas have been sacked by the floods. Schoolchildren can‘t go to school any more. Businesses have been shut. Social life is no more. It is that bad,” Tunde said.

PUNCH METRO gathered that the situation was not different from other affected floodplain areas on the bank of the river as the flooding had brought significant number of residents to their knees.

Our correspondent, who visited some of the affected communities, observed that the situation was hectic especially during rush hours as residents fell over one another trying to board canoes to access the landed areas.

One of our correspondents, who was trapped at Maidan area had to hire a canoe to and fro to navigate through Aina Road to Agiliti and other affected areas where many buildings had been submerged.

On Tuesday, a newspaper publishing company, Business Hallmark, cried out that its premises on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was submerged in flood and appealed to the government to come to its aid quickly.

In the area, Nigerian Turkish International College, has been sacked by the floods forcing the students to evacuate the building.

Also, our correspondents reported that the only road leading to Warewa community in Ifo Local Government of Ogun State, had been cut off by the flood. The residents resorted to communal efforts and constructed a makeshift bridge to enable them to access their homes.

The Iyaloja General of the Greema International Market, Warewa, Mrs. Bilikz Popoola, told one of our correspondents that they had lost an unquantifiable amount of goods, property and cattle to the disaster.

“We had to engage the services of swimmers and canoe operators to help us to salvage the ones they could. I appeal to the government to come to our rescue fast before something untoward will happen,” another trader, Mrs. Blessing Anosike, said.

Two cattle rearers, Isa Mohammed and Ramat Hassan, said the majority of their cattle had perished and countless others had gone astray because of the uncontrollable floods.

The Otun Baale of Warewa Town, Mr. Aina Ogundele, said many residents had been displaced, while socio-economic and education activities had been paralysed in the area.

“The flood is affecting all the communities. many have been forced to move out of their houses. For over four weeks now, people cannot sleep in their houses. We want the government to help so that it would not happen again,” he said.

In a related development, scores of residents of Bodija in Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State on Wednesday evening were rendered homeless as flood destroyed their property estimated at millions of naira.

The flood was as a result of downpour witnessed across the state capital.

Buildings located in three streets in Bodija were mostly affected.

The streets include Oyesola, Alhaji Akande and Major Salawu.

No fewer than 16 houses and 12 shops were affected by the flood.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Government has set up a committee to find a lasting solution to the perennial flooding.

The Chief Press Secretary to Ogun State Government, Mr. Adegbenro Adebanjo, who said this in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abeokuta on Wednesday, said the group, which was headed by the Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Infrastructure, Mr. Kehinde Osikoya, also has the Chief Executive Officer of Sparklight Estate, Mr. Toyin Adeyinka, a representative of the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority and an expert consultant on deflooding as members.

He said the group, which had been directed by Governor Gbenga Daniel to study the causes of the flooding and come up with a final solution had commenced work.

Source: http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201010073433620

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Flood displaces thousands in Ogun, Lagos .

Tuesday, 05 October 2010 04:52 Biodun Durojaiye

Jonathan Eze, Moses Kadiri, Imabong Udoh & Kayode Adelowokan

THOUSANDS of residents in Ogun and Lagos states were on the run yesterday, after their communities were sacked by flood released from the Ogun/Osun River Basin.

The victims, including workers and students, who were flushed out of their homes, offices and schools, were seen loitering about in neighbouring communities, with some handy belongings that they could salvage. Livestock farmers, who are many in the areas, were also counting their losses.

Those who spoke with the Nigerian Compass said that they woke up yesterday to see their homes being submerged in the flood.

The affected communities include: Isheri Olofin, Isheri Oke, Kara, and Warewa, all in Ogun State. In Lagos areas along Akute Road, in Ojodu Berger, Ikosi-Ketu, Mile 12, Ajilete, Thomas Laniyan Estate, Owode Elede, Owode Onirin, Agboyi, Odogun and Maidan were also sacked by the flood.

Residents in these areas had earlier been warned by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, in a letter sent to the Lagos State government, signed by the Deputy Director Operations and Maintenance, Mr. Akin Soyemi.

The authorities, in the letter, solicited the assistance of the state government in creating awareness.

“Well, we have commenced release of water since August and that has continued till now and will continue for as long as heavy rainfall being witnessed now continues. We have stated this in our news release pushed out in August to media houses and environmental agencies in Ogun and Lagos states,” said Femi Dokunmu, the spokesperson, Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority.

Besides dislodging people from their homes, the flood also prevented industries and schools from opening, as workers and students could not find roads to their destinations.

Among the stranded students were those of Nigeria/Turkish International School and Assirat Muslim Nursery and Primary School, at Isheri Olofin. They had to relocate with the aid of a staff bus sent to them by the management of the Western Publishing Company Limited, publishers of the Nigerian Compass titles and the Westerner magazine. The pupils were later hosted at the Journalist Rendezvous within the company premises.

Cattle sellers in Kara market were also sacked from their base.

The Olofin of Isheri Olofin in Aworiland however dismissed fears in the community that a water mermaid was vexed over rites and rituals that were not done to pacify it. Oba Nurudeen Adekanmbi said that it was a usual thing to de-flood the dam whenever it is filled up in the rainy season.

The students and staff of the school who took shelter at the premises of the Western Publishing Company were in a sad mood, as they recalled their experience.

A teacher at the Nigerian Turkish International College, Mr. Yakub Ali, blamed the government for the incident. He said it was not the first or second time such would occur in the area.

His words: “Nothing has been done to improve the situation since these things have been happening; rather government has continued to put the lives of citizens in danger.”

Ali added that government had always been releasing the Ogun River dam, instead of providing a channel through which the water will go; either through the lagoon or somewhere else.

He stressed that parents had been called to come and pick their wards, and those that could not be reached, the students will be taken to the school’s temporary site in Opebi, Ikeja, in Lagos.

“We have contacted their parents to come and pick them, until the problem is properly addressed and solved; some of them from faraway places will be taken to our Opebi site to stay there until the problem is solved, or for their parents to come for them since they cannot go back to their different states for now,” he said.

Mr. Wale Idowu, a driver to one of the students lamented that the surge will really affect educational activities of the students.

His words: “I have never seen such in my life before. The water that was released from the dam is so alarming that all the surroundings of Isheri, in Ogun State have been taken over with water. It will definitely affect the students of Turkish International academy. Instead of them to be moving forward with their educational activities, reverse is now the case, because there is no place for them to learn any longer. The water has taken over the whole school. Since they cannot go about their educational activities under a good atmosphere, I had to take them back home and wait for when the whole thing will be over. That is the only option now. To make matters worse, they only resumed on Sunday after a long holiday. Instead of them to concentrate on their studies this drastic thing happened.”

Idowu implored the concerned authorities to find a lasting solution to the crisis. “The state government should look for a lasting solution to the problem, before it starts destroying things. It has already started, some documents have been destroyed and other things which I cannot give account now. I really want the state government to respond fast to help the situation, the education of these students is at stake,” he added.

The Nigerian Compass driver, Mr. Kehinde Isaac, who came to the aid of the students, said the situation was terrible.

“The water has gotten to a level that it would be difficult for any vehicle to go into the school compound. The bus I took there was almost drowned. All the students have been successfully evacuated,” he said.

Parents that were sighted in the community expressed their displeasure with the situation.

Mrs. Ranti Koiki described the opening of Ogun River as rubbish. She said that by the end of the term, she would withdraw her kids from the school because the environment is not safe and she would not want to endanger the lives of her wards.

For Mr. Nnaji Daniel, the story was the same.

He said: “I brought my children to school yesterday (Sunday), when I was called to come and pick them, I was afraid that something bad has happened.”

He also said that government ought to release a prior notice before opening the river so that people can keep away from the environment, and that channels should be provided for easy flow.

Another parent, Mrs. Omojola Omobola, said “the school only resumed on Sunday, and now they have to go back home again. I will say the days they will spend at home would be a waste because the children are expected to settle down now and read their books”.

Source: http://www.compassnewspaper.com/NG/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=68526:flood-displaces-thousands-in-ogun-lagos&catid=43:news&Itemid=799

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Published 10/5/2010 2:25:00 AM

Oyan Dam: School, others relocate as floods take over Lagos-Ogun boundary

Simon Utebor and Motunrayo Aboderin

A school, Nigerian Turkish International College, Isheri, Ogun State, as well as some offices and organisations in the area have relocated as a result of flooding of the area.

PUNCH METRO gathered that the flooding, described as unprecedented by some of the residents, was as a result of the release of water from Oyan Dam by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority.

One of our correspondents, who visited the area on Monday, reported that pupils of the school were seen packing their belongings, while most offices in the area have been shut.

The Vice-Principal of the college, Mr. Yusuf Akintunde, who accused the Ogun State government of being unfair to the school, said his interest was to ensure that all the pupils were safely evacuated from the area.

He said, “I am so saddened by this situation; these pupils do not need to go through this. The government needs to do something about the Oyan River Dam. What happens is that, when the dam gets full, it is opened in order to prevent the dam from being destroyed.

“Now, it has so been positioned that, when the dam is opened, the water flows in our direction. And what I was told is that the water was purposely channeled to areas that are densely-populated.

“The Ogun State government wanted to prevent this sort of thing happening in areas around them. But,the question is why did they sell this area to us if they knew this is what we will be facing?”

Apart from Akintunde, pupils and teachers were also seen venting out their anger against the government.

An official of the school, who refused to disclose her name, said, “This is so terrible, just look at this, everywhere is flooded.The most annoying thing is that no warning was given.

“At least if we were informed beforehand that the dam would be opened at this specific time, it would have been much better.

We can’t even begin to measure up all what has been destroyed in the school. The pupils could not even pack their things; we had to rush them out.”

A group of JSS1 and JSS3 pupils, who spoke with one of our correspondents, expressed sadness over the development that forced them out of their school.

”How are we going to prepare for our exams? Even most of our books, belongings have been destroyed by the flood. Where do we even start from?” a JSS 3 pupil, who declined to give his name, said.

In the meantime, the pupils have been relocated to a branch of the school in Opebi, Lagos.

An official of the Bureau of Lands and Survey, Isheri, whose office was also affected by the flood, admitted that the release of water from the dam was a yearly thing.

But he said this year’s was the worst.

The official, who did not want his name mentioned, said apart from Isheri, other areas in Abeokuta close to the Lafenwa Bridge were also affected by the flood.

Meanwhile, a newspaper publishing company on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Business Hallmark, has urged the Ogun State government to call the OORBDA to order.

In a statement by its Editor, Mr. Ikechukwu Omeife, the company said the opening of the dam had damaged farmlands, homes, schools, offices and business premises.

It condemned the action of the authority, saying that with the opening of the dam‘s floodgates on Sunday, water had started entering into offices and damaging companies’ property.

The statement said, ”The continuing flow of water from the dam into the area means that lives of many citizens are in danger.

“The flood has already sacked a foreign private school close to our building. We condemn the short-sightedness of OORBDA, especially as modern technology has developed more effective ways of controlling such level of flood.”

But the spokesman for the agency, Mr. Femi Dokunmu, in a text message to one of our correspondents, said as long as heavy rainfall being witnessed now continued, the situation would remain so.

Dokunmu said, “Well, we have commenced release of water since August and that has continued till now and continues for as long as heavy rainfall being witnessed now continues.

“We have stated this in our news release pushed out in August to media houses and environmental agencies in Ogun and Lagos states.”

Source: http://www.punchontheweb.com/Article2Print.aspx?theartic=Art201010052552571

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Danger! Berger Bridge faces imminent collapse .

Friday, 25 June 2010 00:00 Dayo Ayeyemi .Share 0•Expansion joint to be repaired this weekend, says Bi-Courtney

•Justifies reasons for blocking all U-turns

DANGER! The popular Berger Bridge, linking Lagos with Ogun State on the popular Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is on the brink of collapse. No thanks to a falling expansion joint on the Lagos end of the bridge.

Already, the development is subjecting tens of thousands of Lagos-bound motorists to routine traffic pains, as they spend several hours in the gridlock triggered by the failing joint.

If allowed to collapse, Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria and West African sub-region, will be totally cut off from other parts of the country.

The failure of the expansion joint is coming barely four years after the Federal Ministry of Works, through its Lagos office, hired Julius Berger to replace all the four joints on both sides of the dual carriage way.

For more than a month that the replacements lasted, travellers experienced their worst-ever traffic pains along the expressway, with many of them left with no other option than to reroute their trips either through Ikorodu road or Papalanto road.

However, the concessionaire of the expressway, Messrs Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited, told the Nigerian Compass yesterday that the failed expansion joint would be fixed at the weekend.

The firm assured that the chaotic traffic situation on the bridge approach would have become a thing of the past by Monday, next week.

Officials of the company, who claimed anonymity, stated that they had taken their time to study the recurrent failure of the expansion joint, which they pointed out required experts’ involvement to fix permanently.

They said: “We were told that the expansion joint was repaired five years ago and now, it has developed another problem. We want to try to make a very good correction to the area.

“We will be at the location by the weekend and we will correct it and by Monday, the repair that will stand the test of time would have been in place.”

Besides the planned repair, the officials also explained the motive behind the blockage of all surface U-turn on the expressway.

They appealed to the travelling public and residents of communities along the expressway to bear with the company, saying the exercise was for the good of the generality of Nigerians.

One of the officials of the company, who is the Head of Security, pointed out that the U-turn at Fatgbems Filling Station was initially blocked three weeks ago, when the company noticed that the location had become inimical to commuting, but was surprised that the road dividers were removed.

The barriers had been removed as it had blocked the major access road to Isheri community and the residents in some nearby estates from re-routing their trips to Lagos.

According to the Bi-Courtney official, discussions had been held with representatives of the Ogun State government on the completion of underpass near the Abattoir to serve as alternative.

He said the three weeks agreed to by both parties had since expired, hence the blockage of the illegal U-turn.

The official advised motorists to make U-turn in front of the Multi-Trex company immediately after the five-kilometre long bridge.

Justifying the action, he stated that it had been observed that vehicles and trucks move in opposite direction by making use of the illegal U-turns, adding that the main reason was to rid the expressway of traffic jam.

He said: “You don’t get to the expressway by T-junctions but through an interchange.”

This action, he said, generated controversy between the company and community leaders, residents and youths in the area on Wednesday.

He said he took his time to explain the motive behind the action and that other illegal U-turns at Ibafo and Mowe had also suffered similar fate.

According to him, the construction of an underpass was not under the purview of the company, saying that the right-of-way the company could lay claim to was 60.35 metres, starting from the middle lane on either side of the expressway.

His words: “Therefore, the underpass is clearly outside of our purview,” adding that the Ogun State Government had promised to immediately complete the underpass at Isheri.

He said: “What we are doing is for the good of entire Nigerians. We know that change always come with restriction but on the long run, people will see the good thing we are doing.

“Illegal U-turn is not restricted to Fatgbems but the Ibafo Police Station and Car Park C at the Redemption Camp. All we are doing is positive intervention to ensure free flow of traffic.

“We are at the reconstruction stage. Main construction work will commence by September and October. We want to patch the road now to make it free for traffic flow. We have trailer park already at Ibafo and we are doing something at Ogere. If you get to Ogere now, the traffic situation has improved. The objective is to make the road free.”

But motorists yesterday continued to make their journey into Lagos in pains as they have to spent several hours in the gridlock before getting out to their various destinations due to the failure of the expansion joint on the Berger Bridge.

The traffic had become a permanent feature on the bridge approach for more than a week.

For instance, the traffic caused by the failing joint on Monday at about 6 am, spanned more than 12 kilometres and did not end until 2 p.m.

Motorists and residents have called on the Federal Government and Messrs Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited to come together and fix the bridge.

The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Coordinator in Lagos, Mrs. Ilemore, expressed concern over the precarious nature of the bridge, saying it was not in her jurisdiction to repair.

She told the Nigerian Compass to reach out to the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State to find out what his office was doing about the failing joint.

She stated that she had discussed about the dilapidating bridge with the Controller of Works once, but was told that the road had been concessioned to Bi-Courtney.

The concession of the 110-kilometre road for reconstruction, expansion and modernisation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by Messrs Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited was flagged-off in April 2009.

It will be funded 100 per cent by the concessionaire under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative of the Federal Government.

The expressway, which was constructed between 1974 and 1978 with modern facilities to link major cities in the country, has gone bad as it has dilapidated over time.

The sorry state of the major expressway linking Lagos to other parts of the country, coupled with the need to restore it to its old glory, prompted the Federal Government to approved its concession to Messrs Bi-Courtney at N89,533,688,879.84 in April last year.

Under the agreement, Bi-Courtney will manage the road and toll it to recoup its investment over a period of 25 years on the Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) scheme.

Source:http://www.compassnewspaper.com/NG/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61728:danger-berger-bridge-faces-imminent-collapse-&catid=672:top-stories&Itemid=794

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right thing being paying up in brown envelops till the next minister make more noise

how come no one has been able to ask Bi-Courtney why they've not started anything after a year

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Govt summons contractor over N89.5b Lagos-Ibadan highway project .

Monday, 02 August 2010 00:00 By Emmanuel Badejo

THE Minister of State for Works, Dr. Chris Oghiemwonyi said in Lagos at the weekend that the Federal Government had not ruled out the possibility of revoking the N89.5 billion road construction project concessioned out to the firm Messrs Bi-Courtney Consortium.

He told journalists, however, that efforts were already being made to ensure that the concessionaire moved to site and commence work.

According to him, the Ministry of Works had summoned the chairman of the firm, Dr. Wale Babalakin to Abuja, and warned that failure to do the right thing might lead to terminating the contract.

“We are going to enforce repairs under the palliative measures. You will see a change in the next one month. As a matter of fact, we recently called the chairman of the company to Abuja and we told him that he must do the right thing.”

The journey to the concession started in 2007 when the previous administration invited proposals for the project. Bi-Courtney is currently running the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2 (MMA2) under a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement.

The Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili, had announced the concessioning of the road to Messrs Bi-Courtney Consortium after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on April 15, 2009 in Abuja. She said that the concessionaire would reconstruct and modernise the highway and recoup its investment through toll collection.

The Federal Executive Council approved the N89.53 billion concession with a period of 25 years under a Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) Scheme with 100 per cent funding by the concessionaire.

Works Minister Mohammed Sanusi Daggash, who x-rayed challenges faced in the course of efforts to provide standard infrastructure in the nation, urged stakeholders to seek alternative sources of funding, adding that budgetary allocations were far behind the enormous demand for infrastructure.

Daggash listed some of the challenges as non-existence of I.C.T tools, contractors’ competence – as many contractors lack requisite expertise and equipment – poor project definition, and politicisation of road projects.

But he said that the ministry had mapped out plans to intervene in urgent road maintenance works through creation of road camps/observation units, setting up work units within the states to undertake road repairs under a rapid response strategy and improved staffing efficiency.

Five funding options were recommended. They are intervention funding – similar to such given to banking, power, aviation, textile, health and housing sector projects, and medium term involving the use of pension funds, PTDF, private and staff pension funs, ITF, ETF, auto council, adding that more than N3 trillion is available for investment.

Other options are long term funding through the issuance of sovereign bond that would be tied to specific road projects and in foreign currency denominated, investing in private equity infrastructure fund also on a long-term basis and concession of roads and bridges, said could be on a short to medium term.

Source: http://www.guardiannewsngr.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=18682:govt-summons-contractor-over-n895b-lagos-ibadan-highway-project&catid=25:property&Itemid=655

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Beyond the privatization of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Waheed Kadiri

MORE facts are coming to light on the concession of the Lagos - Ibadan Expressway. We now know that the road is to be handled by, a tested hand - Bi-Courtney, who midwifed the Murtala Muhammed (MM2) terminal.

The privatization effort will give us an improved road with eight lanes from Lagos to Shagamu and six lanes from Shagamu to Ibadan. Parking facilities are also to be provided for the ubiquitous trailers and tankers. To enhance the safety of the road, users’ rest areas will be provided. Also to be provided are; emergency communication equipment, clinics and emergency ambulances. The highway will also be illuminated between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The road is of immense importance to the socio-economic life of the country in many ways, it links Lagos, the economic capital of the nation, to other parts of the country, finding its way through Ogun State, which had, because of that ‘endowment’, become known as the Gateway State. Apart from conveyance of goods, imported and agricultural, to and from other parts of the federation, the Sagamu - Lagos end has also become a corridor of homes to religious organizations, with their frequent and high participant attracting programmes.

The latest development on this corridor is the emergence of high land grabbing uses in the name of industries, petrol stations, private schools and private - organized and unorganized - housing estates under the guise of bringing investment to the axis. The implication of these investments is that all of them front directly unto the Expressway, to the extent that one wants to ask oneself whether that portion of the road qualifies to be an expressway, which is supposed to have limited regulated entry and/or exit points. The uses on the expressway have resulted in situations where people have to walk along and across the road. All these have implications for the improvement of the road.

Bi-Courteny is likely to face a challenge different from what they faced at the MM2 on this assignment. The international and local wings of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport were still there to provide services while MM2 was being constructed. That type of relief is not available for the Lagos - Ibadan road. While reconstruction, with all its limitations, is going on, the traffic cannot be frozen. It has been suggested that Lagos - Abeokuta road and Ikorodu - Shagamu Road should serve as alternative routes during the reconstruction. The Lagos - Abeokuta Road, with the way it is now, is not a viable alternative. Ask those who live in Ota. The Ikorodu - Shagamu Road is one road anyone would not want to be but for lack of choice, due to the need to get through or around Ikorodu town. Other hindrances to the use of this route include the presence of petrol tankers going to and from NNPC Mosinmi fuel depot. The narrowness and winding nature of the road coupled with poor pavement conditions are other hinderances.

Of significance is the fact that no mention had been made of the railway system as an alternative or complement to the expressway. This is in spite of the advantages the mode has over the road. Rail is more efficient, not only in energy consumption and therefore, cost per passenger or goods per kilometre, but also more environmental friendly and less accident-prone. Its greatest shortcoming, which has led to its near demise, is its inability to provide door to door service. This disadvantage is however overshadowed by safety factors in handling dangerous cargoes such as inflammable materials. Delivery time had also been one of the issues raised against the railways but this cannot hold anymore with the advent of high-speed trains. Attempts by the immediate past administration to resuscitate the railways gave some hopes. But as with all government policies in Nigeria, there has been a somersault.

The efficiency of a road goes beyond speed attainable on it. It includes the ease with which one can get in or out of it. The expressway, the way it is presently, does not afford much choice. Opportunity to get off the road either to its west or east is not available until one gets to Shagamu interchange. The result has been the forced route through Mowe, Ofada, Siun to Abeokuta or through Ogere to Ibadan. Because the routes were not designed for the forced load on them, the negative implications is so obvious in terms of lost time, wear and tear on vehicles and the resultant road rage among the drivers and passengers.

I am sure not many users will be bothered by the toll to be paid, as long as they have alternatives between the origin and destination of their journeys. This brings us to all those roads that were in existence before the express road. Mowe - Ofada - Owode - Iperu - Ode - Ishara - Ajebo - Ogunmakin - Ibadan road will afford a leisurely drive without being on the express road. Other viable but neglected road is Abeokuta - Odeda - Olugbo - Ogunmakin - Ibadan road. Construction of only one bridge is all that is needed to move from Agbara, in Lagos State to Atan, Ishaga Orile and Abeokuta in Ogun State to Igboora, Lanlate, Maya (a regional farm product market centre), Iseyin and Oyo in Oyo State. In other words, one can go from Badagry to Ogbomoso and Ilorin and further north without passing through the express road. The Ikorodu - Imota - Ijebu-Ode road is also viable.

The point being made here is that, while the concessioning exercise is commendable, some other roads must be made functional, in order to give room for good attention to be paid to the express road. By providing alternative routes to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the volume and type of traffic on the road could be reduced,rate and fatality of road accidents would surely be positively affected. It might also become possible to plan one’s journey time. Instead of psychological stress of covering 60 kilometres in 10 hours, I do not think anyone would mind an alternative of 75 kilometres in just over one hour.

In generating policies for the road, stakeholders should not be limited to law enforcement agents, transport unions and tanker drivers alone. The residents of settlements along the route should also be brought into the picture. The land and land use management agencies, along the corridor, should also start generating policies that would not jeopardize the efficiency of the road, when completed. The starting point should be taking an inventory of all developments along and within the right-of-way of the road, before speculators and other land grabbers come in to reap where they do not sow.

Of concern to the policy makers should be what happens to the traffic, once it gets to the Ibadan end of the road. The state of the stretch of the road linking the expressway from the old toll gate to Ife, Iwo and Oyo roads should be of equal concern. The link road had become a great source of problem and anxiety to those transiting from the expressway to Ife, Iwo, Ojo/Oyo. This section of the road, though dualised, has lost all the attributes of a road designed for high volume, fast moving traffic. The number of petrol filling stations, undesignated taxi and bus pick up points, the myriad of “U-turn” and the state of the pavements have made travelling on that stretch of road a great challenge to normal drivers.

There are definitely positive dividends to be earned from the privatization of the expressway, but if alternatives are provided, the expressway itself would be more optimally utilized. The good thing about the alternative routes identified in this discussion is that they are all in existence, all that needs be done is to bring their existence to the consciousness of the road users.

Other advantage of these alternatives is that they link up a string of settlements which enhances security. Increased usage of these routes may even reinvigorate some of the towns that are decaying, due to the siphoning of energy from them, by the construction of the expressway, almost three decades ago. We should also not forget that the federal government, in 2003, awarded the contract for the construction of Ijebu-Igbo - Ajegunle - Araromi (in Ogun State) - Ife - Sekona (in Osun State). This project, which could bring relief to Ijebu-Ode - Ibadan - Ife Road, in addition to the expressway, has not been completed. Our transport system must be multi-modal in nature so, that we do not get to be at the mercy of operators of a mode, as shown by the incessant threats and strikes by petrol tanker drivers. If petrol is moved by the railway, we would have been able to call the bluff of the drivers.

When our government is as politically committed to the improvement of the rail system, as it is to private sector participation in road development, our transport system and our socio-economic environment and indeed our political environment will be the better for it.

Source: http://www.compassnewspaper.com/NG/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17427%3Abeyond-the-privatization-of-the-lagos-ibadan-expressway&Itemid=7966

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The govt has used that highway to milk the wallet of the nation so much that they could just convert the damn road to a farm to grow wheat.

So sad, people die there on a weekly basis and yet the govt see nothing wrong.

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The fraud on this road is Bi-Courtney. They've not added a spade of sand to the road and they got the concession more than a year ago. The guy just haven't gotten a friggin idea of what it takes. Yet he wants ad revenue on the road. Clown.

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Commissioner, others stranded for 10 hours on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway 

By Success Nwogu   

Monday, 5 Jul 2010   

It was a hectic day for motorists and passengers that travelled on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Sunday as they were stranded for over 10 hours as a result of a tanker that fell on the road at Amo Oil Petrol Station near Arepo Bus Stop, Ogun State.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Kola Onadipe, was also affected by the gridlock and had to abandon his destination to monitor emergency operations.

The accident was said to have been caused by the driver of a tanker who allegedly dozed off and lost control of the vehicle. The tanker with registration number XG 180GML, which was loaded with Premium Motor Spirit, was said to have hit the median and tumbled while the fuel gushed out.

Some motorists either had to make a detour or take a bush path from Fatgbems Petrol Station. Many passengers had to trek a long distance before they got to their destinations.

When PUNCHMETRO visited the scene about 2 pm, Ogun State Government officials, men of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Transport Compliance and Enforcement Agency and Fire Service were seen making frantic efforts to contain the situation. Also the fuel being conveyed by the tanker was seen being transferred to another tanker with registration number AE 128BCH.

The traffic jam, which started around 6.00am when the tanker fell, did not ease until after 4.00pm when the tanker was evacuated.

The Unit Commander, Federal Road Safety Commission, Mowe, Ogun State, Mr. Olalekan Morakinyo, said the accident occurred around 6am. According to him the driver dozed off and lost control and later ran away when he realised the magnitude of the accident. He added that his men had to cordon off the scene and diverted motorists to avert fire disaster.

Morakinyo said, ”I was informed around 7am. I immediately mobilised my men. We have a standby rescue team. If they had called us immediately it happened, we would have been there earlier. Our men were just about going out when I heard of it.

”When we got there, we later tried to provide an alternative tanker. We approached some tanker drivers who demanded N200,000 before they could release their tanker. All we wanted was to siphon off the fuel into another tanker. We later had an agreement with Amo Oil to siphon off the fuel.

”We could have lifted the tanker but because it was containing some 33,000 litres of PMS, if we attempted to lift it, there could be a fire outbreak. So, we want to siphon it, after that we have a towing truck around, we will lift it and open the road.”

Ogun State Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Kola Onadipe, said the emergency response was impressive. He added that the team had to dislodge people who were about to foment trouble after the accident.

Onadipe said, ”The emergency response team is doing very well. When I got here, I found out that the firefighter is on standby. Government officials, FRSC, TRACE, police have already cordoned off the area and have diverted the tanker to another zone, which has helped in maintaining safety. Today is Sunday, even at that, they were on the spot since about 6.30 am. There was immediate chaos after the accident. There was the need to ensure that there was no chaos within the environment, that is what took time. They are now trans-filling the petrol to another tanker.”

The Commander, Head of Operations, Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency, Ogun State, Mr. Umoru Lawal, advised motorists to be patient and avoid dozing off while driving. He added that the agency had to clear obstructions near the Mountain of Fire Miracle Ministries to improve traffic flow.

He said, ”The greatest problem of Nigerian drivers is impatient. When you are impatient, especially these tanker drivers, they tend to drive recklessly.

“This is rainy season and the ground is very slippery, when they apply the break, it may not hold immediately.

They should be patient and drive safely so that we have less accident. Also, when a driver is feeling sleepy, he should park and rest a bit and continue the journey.”

Source:http://www.punchng.com/Articl.aspx?theartic=Art201007053441473

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Daily Independent (Lagos)

Nigeria: FG Warns Developers On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

Rotimi Durojaiye

14 March 2010

The Federal Government has warned public utility owners to desist from further development on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, without adequate clearance from the Federal Ministry of Works, Housing and Urban Development.

Also, the concessionaire handling the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited (BHSL), has promised to give Nigerians the best expressway in West Africa.

Speaking over the weekend at an interactive session with select journalists on the state of the concession, a Director in the Ministry of Works, Housing and Urban Development, Engineer Babatunde Ekunsunmi, said any development on the highway after the concession agreement with BHSL would be illegal.

The Federal Government concessioned the highway in May 2009 to BHSL and handed over same in September 2009. It is a Design, Build Operate and Transfer (DBOPT), project and has a completion period of 48 months.

Ekunsunmi said the agreement done through the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) is the corrective way of dealing with government infrastructure in the right manner.

He said public utility owners on the highway should ask questions from the ICRC on how to protect their facilities.

The director stated that this would ensure that the concession is done according to agreement.

According to him, since government does not have the facilities to take care of all infrastructure in the country, the concept of concessioning became imperative, adding that Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is a pilot project on how to give Nigerians the best expressway.

Ekunsunmi promised that on completion, the highway would meet international standards. He said it would be a limited access road, pointing out that nobody would go on the road for free.

He said toll gates and pedestrian crossings would be constructed at designated areas on the highway.

Also speaking at the interactive session, Chairman, Project Implementation Committee of BHSL, Olusegun Ahmadu, said at the end of the project, BHSL would give comfort to all road users on the highway.

According to him, since the handover of the highway to BHSL, repairs to cracked and failed surfaces of the road have continued. He said repairs have progressed to kilometer 35 Northbound and Kilometer 32 Southbound.

Ahmadu said the right way on both sides of the road is also being cleared, and that about 40 kilometers stretch have so far been cleared. He regretted that the road has become so bad that many sections of it have failed.

While decrying the traffic manners of most Nigerians, Ahmadu said: "Our traffic manners need to be improved upon." He said most trailers plying the highway go beyond their weight limit and that most of the trucks are not fit for the road.

He said BHSL has built temporary trailer parks with capacity for 2,000 trailers. Ahmadu gave a breakdown of the trailer park capacity as Ibafo Southbound, 300 trailers; Ibafo Northbound, 50 trailers; Ibafo Northbound (Gideon College), 150 trailers; Ibafo Northbound (Rainbow College), 150 trailers; Ogere Northbound 1, 100 trailers; Ogere Southbound, 350 trailers; and Ogere Northbound 2, 550 trailers.

He said on completion, the 100 kilometer highway would be made of four modern lanes from Lagos to Sagamu, while the Sagamu to Ibadan end would be made of three modern lanes.

Ahmadu assured that the highway would be made of tourist attractions with modern recreation areas.

He also promised adequate security to avoid criminality on the road. He described the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as the most highly trafficked road in Nigeria.

He said the high traffic volume derives from the position and location of Lagos as a major air and sea ports, former capital city and the economic nerve centre of Nigeria.

Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/201003150948.html

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17-hour gridlock cripples Lagos-Ibadan Expressway .

Source:http://www.compassnewspaper.com/NG/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49078:17-hour-gridlock-cripples-lagos-ibadan-expressway&catid=672:top-stories&Itemid=794

Monday, 24 May 2010 09:57 Bunmi Ogunmodede  .

IT was easier for the horse to pass through the needle’s eye than for travellers along the Ibafo axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to make it through to their destinations at the weekend.

Many of them spent the whole night in a traffic that made riding on the expressway nightmarish for commuters. No thanks to the traffic bottleneck that lastest for 17 hours to clear at Ibafo, an Ogun State community along the dual carriage way.

For the more than 17 hours that the traffic madness lasted, those trapped made telephone calls to their homes to intimate them of their helpless situation. It took travellers about six hours to make a two-kilometre trip within the affected four-kilometre radius. The gridlock, which started at exactly 5.15 pm on Saturday, was triggered by a collision involving a tipper lorry and a tanker laden with fuel. Overwhelmed by the traffic created by the accident, which spread across a four-kilometre radius of Ibafo on the expressway, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Unit Command in Mowe, had to call for reinforcement from Lagos Command and Sagamu unit of the FRSC.

They were joined by the officials of the Ogun State Traffic Compliant and Enforcement (TRACE) agency, fire fighters and policemen from the Ibafo Divisional Area Command, led by the Divisional Police Commander (DPO) and the Divisional Traffic Officer (DTO). The combined traffic control team was able to restore traffic sanity by 10.15 am yesterday after they stationed their men at the Mountain of Fire Under-pass and the U-turn at Asese, the two points where drivers of Ibadan and Lagos-bound vehicles changed their lanes to drive against the traffic, thus compounding the situation. It was learnt that the FRSC was initially helpless as could neither remove the fuel-laden tanker, nor tow away the lorry for fear of a spark. The fire fighter were immediately called to fumigate the immediate environment to avoid possible fire outbreak.

All the traffic controllers could do was to instill discipline while the content in the tanker marked Kebbi XA 70 JEB was trans-loaded to another truck marked Sokoto XA 313 BAD. Mr. Morakinyo Olalekan, the Assistant Corps Commander and Unit Commander of the FRSC in Mowe told the Nigerian Compass that it was war enforce traffic discipline among the drivers, who he said were “grossly impatient.” According to him, the crisis was created by drivers, who, desperate to get to their destinations, overwhelmed the FRSC officials on duty, to drive against traffic. His words: “That impatience got us to where we are now since 5.15 pm. Our men were controlling traffic immediately the accident occurred.

But by 12 midnight after trans-loading the fuel, the two vehicles involved were cleared out of the carriage way. “Driving against traffic compounded the situation. But for our men who turned back those driving against the traffic to follow the normal lane, we would not have achieved this level of sanity. “But principally, standstill is usually the end-product of inpatience. If only the people could be patient, every traffic situation could be brought under control without commuters having to spend the whole night on the road.” A road user, who physically assaulted the DPO was arrested, beaten but released, while a uniformed security officials, who was escorting a vehicle, who also assaulted the TRACE team leader, was prompted detained with his consignment. Olalekan noted that uniformed men, who often escort goods illegally were contributing to traffic logjams on the expressway, as they often encourage drivers to flout rules and regulations.

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