The Lagos Government yesterday resumed work on the 60.3-kilometre Lagos-Badagry Expressway. The international gateway was conceptualised by the state government in 1974 and constructed by the Federal Government in 1977 when the idea of having a highway to connect the sub-region was agreed upon at an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit. Unfortunately, the facility has remained in a deplorable state for years.
But the deputy governor, Obafemi Hamzat, who kicked off its reconstruction at the Trade Fair complex in the capital, said the exercise was in fulfillment of the promise made June 2 by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. He stressed that the work by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd (CCECC) would start on Segment 2 of Lot 2 of the road from the Agboju-Trade Fair complex axis and measure approximately 4.6 kilometres. The move is to alleviate the suffering of motorists and improve economic activities in that area.
Hamzat, who appreciated the cooperation of the Federal Government, disclosed that the reconstruction would be completed before the end of the year. He urged residents and motorists to obey traffic rules while palliatives are undertaken to ease stress of those staying within Okokomaiko and its environs, adding that a task force would be deployed to maintain decorum.
The deputy governor indicated that works would commence on other sections of the highway at the completion of the Agboju-Trade Fair segment.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Works, Olujimi Hourly, stressed the importance of this key infrastructure that starts from Eric Moore to Badagry to the economy of Nigeria and Lagos as one of the gateways that connects Seme in Republic of Benin and other neighbouring West African nations. He regretted that the congestion on the highway was prolonging a trip of between 15 and 30 minutes to three and four hours.
The general manager, Lagos head office of the Chinese construction firm, Bill Bianca, pledged to alleviate the plight of road users, just as he sought support of stakeholders for smooth and early competition of the project.
Besides, the government put the worth of the about 1973 active cooperative societies in the state at N150 billion. This comes as 423 others got registered between July 2018 and June 2019.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mrs. Omobolanle Modinat Ogunmola, disclosed this yesterday at a press briefing to mark the 2019 International Day of Cooperatives, with the theme, “Cooperatives for decent work.” She said though about 10,000 cooperatives had registered with the ministry, only 1,973 were functional, noting that awareness about partnerships has since increased.