ABUJA, NOVEMBER 12, 2016 – Expansion and rehabilitation works on the Lagos-Ibadan highway would be completed this dry season, Mr Babatunde Fashola, the minister of power, works and housing said on Friday.
Fashola, who briefed the media in Lagos on his first year in office, said that the long bridge at the Lagos-Ogun border on the road had to be shut because a lot of construction work was ongoing underneath it.
“Roads are depreciating assets that need constant maintenance and regulated usage,” he said, adding that the issue of overloaded trucks was being addressed.
According to him, the ECOWAS sub-region is already looking into the issue of double-axle articulated vehicles that transport more tonnage than most roads were built to accommodate.
Fashola also said that weighbridges would be reintroduced on Nigerian roads to arrest overloading.
He said, however, that warehouses have to be built by the weighbridges to take in offloaded extra goods from arrested haulage vehicles.
The minister also said that the issue of reintroducing tollgates on roads would be decided by Nigerians, stressing that he had not forgotten his experience on this when he was the governor of Lagos State.
He said that privately built roads that were to repay investors through tolling drew the ire of some Lagos residents and led to court cases.
Fashola said that the Federal Government was giving priority attention to roads that connected major cities as well as those that would ensure quick evacuation of farm products to the cities.
He said that with increased budgetary allocation to the sector, more would be done to ensure a smoother road network nationwide.
Nigeria has about 200,000 kilometers of road network, of which the Federal Government is credited with 18 per cent, the states 16 per cent, and the local governments 66 per cent of mostly earth roads.