A landmark achievement was recorded over the weekend in Lagos State when the Federal Government flagged off the reconstruction of Apapa-Oshodi-Oworoshoki- Ojota Expressway to reduce the traffic congestion along the road.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said the road built between 1975 and 1978 has neither been expanded nor rehabilitated, yet it helps in the economic development of the area.
He stated: “The road being flagged off today at the cost of N73 billion will start from Creek Road (Apapa) through Liverpool to Tincan and terminate at the toll gate near Oworonshoki and will be delivered within two years.
I appreciate the architect of this project, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who has never relented in his drive to reduce the hardship of Lagosians in particular and Nigerians in general.
His oil refinery, fertilizer company and other factories will aid in stopping importation of the products they manufacture and when they are produced in Nigeria, the exchange rate for major foreign currencies will automatically be crashed.
We are also aware that four of Dangote companies pay an annual tax of N22 billion, which goes a long way in the development of the economy.”
For the citizens’ benefit from these infrastructure, the President appealed to truck drivers to be considerate in their use of the road while the construction works go on. He also urged the task force in the area to do their job diligently and within the law.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in his appreciation said he was highly relieved as the issue of traffic on the Apapa Road gives him sleepless nights. The governor commended Dangote for the use of concrete in building roads.
He said that since it has been tested, the template will become the in-thing in the construction of roads. According to him, this is the first time government of the centre is doing road construction using concrete template.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, appreciated the government of Muhammadu Buhari for establishing Road Trust Fund (RTF), which he said helps in developing and constructing roads nationwide.
He added that the completion of these infrastructure will bring about rapid development in the country, stressing that if all the taxes paid by the group were to be calculated, it would be over N200 billion. He noted that the roads built by AG Dangote has a warranted to last between 40 to 50 years.
In his contribution, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Kabiru Gaya, said the job is an initiative of President Buhari due to the pressure of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing.
He stated that the road rehabilitation and construction will go round the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“We suggest that Minister for Works will use the same concrete template in the other zones in the country. This is because the concrete template has been tested and proven to be strong and lasting,” he said.
Also, Senator Oluremi Tinubu whose senatorial zone the work fall into appreciated the efforts saying that when the road is completed, it will serve the teeming motorists. She therefore enjoined other philanthropists to take cue from Dangote and increase infrastructure development in the country.
Other speakers at the event included the Chief Consultant, Engr Shagaya, the Chairman Apapa Resident Association (ARA) represented by General Ayo Vaughn, Chairman, Truck Owners Association, Mr. Oluremi Ogungbemi and representative of NATO.
All appreciated Dangote for his magnanimity and proffered various suggestions that would help in making the organization of the route possible and easy.