Lagos-Calabar coastal highway to take 8 years

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The minister of works Dave Umahi said in a Television programme monitored by this magazine that the Lagos-Calabar coastal road construction will take 8 years and cost N4 billion per kilometre. The figure was confirmed by the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, when he featured on a Channels Television programme, The Morning Brief, on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

While dismissing insinuations that the budgeted cost for the project was high, the minister said the money invested will be made back in 15 years.

There will be filling stations, restaurants, others at toll stations
Umahi said, “Let me leave out the infrastructure along the corridor. Let me just concentrate on the tolls and I put 50,000 vehicles as an average passage on these toll points per day,” Umahi said on the breakfast show.
“I put N3,000 as an average cost. N3,000 because the cars could be like N1,500, and the big trucks could be like N5,000,” he said. “So, we put an average”.
“In 15 years, you make back the money,” he said, dismissing calls that the cost budgeted for the road project was high.
The minister noted that there will be security at the toll gates and also some facilities like filling stations.

He said, “At every point of tolling, we also have toll station where we have a kind of relief activities: the restaurants, filling stations, parking lots, and so on and so forth.’’
“So, people will now have confidence. In these sections, we intend to put CCTV all through.”

When asked the duration of the project Umahi said,

“We are looking at eight years in the life tenure of Mr President [Bola Tinubu].’’
The minister said each kilometre of the coastal road would cost N4 billion, adding that the government’s prudence made that possible.

He said, “You know, there are other projects not awarded by me that are also going for about N4 billion per kilometre.
“So, I will pride myself, to the glory of God, that this project is the most prudent project that I’m starting. Other projects I made, we are reviewing, we are fighting, and we’re trying to review, the cost.
“Well, I cannot sign my signature on that because it can come down, it can go up.’’
What you should know
Umahi, had on September 23, 2023, unveiled plans for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar highway.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had earlier approved the construction of phase one of the 700-kilometer Lagos – Calabar Coastal highway to Hitech Construction Company Ltd. Phase one of the superhighway project stretches to 47.47 kilometres, starting from Lagos.
The 700-kilometer Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project is designed to connect Lagos to Cross River, passing through the coastal states of Ogun, Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom, before culminating in Cross River.
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election, Atiku Abubakar, had questioned the Tinubu administration’s decision to award the contract to Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech without competitive bidding, daring the president to disclose the full cost of the Lagos-Calabar highway project.
However, the President’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, had, in a statement, told Atiku to get his facts right about the project.
Umahi, had also in response to Atiku said the total cost and breakdown of the ongoing Lagos-Calabar coastal highway project will be made available to the public on Friday.
He explained that despite the soaring costs of materials in the construction industry due to commodity price inflation and supply chain disruptions, the ministry is committed to prudence, cost-effectiveness, promptness, and quality delivery of road projects remains unmatched.Meanwhile, road users should know that the Federal Government has hinted that it will likely charge vehicles that would use the Lagos-Calabar coastal road upon its completion. Time will tell

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