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.