The Federal Government has earmarked N15 billion for the urgent and comprehensive repairs of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, as part of the N2.18 trillion supplementary budget passed by the National Assembly on Thursday.
The Federal Government had also acknowledged its outstanding debt of N11,400,024,608 to contractors who had worked on the Eko/Marine Bridges.
Olukorede Kesha, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, issued a statement, saying, “In view of the above, the motoring public is, hereby, notified that the repair works will begin with the ramps connecting Oworoshoki to Adekunle and Lagos-Island (Adeniji Adele) to Adekunle simultaneously. Consequently, the two ramps mentioned above will be closed to traffic by 7 am on Monday, November 6, 2023, for five weeks. Motorists are, therefore, advised to cooperate with the traffic management officials by obeying and observing all diversions as directed and are encouraged to use the alternative routes as provided.”
During the supplementary budget defense of the Ministry of Works, Dave Umahi, the Minister, expressed concerns over the mode of payment to contractors and its impact on road infrastructure. He mentioned that the payment system had been a major factor in the abandonment of road projects across the country.
“Our story on road infrastructure is a very pathetic one. When I came on board, we inherited 18,897 kilometers of road totaling N14 trillion, within the time I came on board, about N3.1 trillion had been paid, leaving a total certificate of N1.6 trillion,” Senator Umahi lamented. “When you see ongoing roads, but no one is there, it’s because contractors are being owed. If you see any ongoing road project, it’s because of an arrangement made by the previous administration through tax credit and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; it’s the same thing with cement manufacturers as well NNPC and the rest only funds road 50 percent and was signed for 20 years.”