The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Olukayode Popoola, on Saturday commended the efforts of the Chairman of Mushin Local Government Area for helping to recover project sites hijacked by hoodlums.
Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria that the rehabilitation drive of the Federal Government to make all roads motorable before Yuletide had hit a brick wall in the Mushin axis.
He explained that hoodlums had hijacked the construction zone on the Agege Motor Road demanding payment, thereby causing the ministry to seek the intervention of the council chairman and the state government.
He said: “RCC is working at Mushin Olosha.
“They work in the night.
“And at two good times, the Area Boys attacked them.
“On Wednesday we held a meeting with the Mushin Local Government Chairman to help us in talking to them.
“The Police were involved in the meeting and I had to call the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure that the contractor will have to leave site if these things should continue.
“Within two weeks, they attacked the contractors at night demanding ransom.
“So it is not easy to work in the night because of the security challenges that we have.
“The Local Government Chairman intervened and talked to them.
“The contractor was able to work on same Wednesday night and were not attacked, which means the meeting that we had was fruitful.
“The area boys did not disturb the contractors again.
“They will work even this night.”
Popoola explained that RCC was working and had restored critically failed sections between Mushin Olosha and Idi Oro, and had done sizeable construction on various sections of the Agege Motor Road.
He said: “They excavated the bad materials, put the new fillings and then put stone base and covered it with asphalt.”
Popoola said that Julius Berger was also working on various failed sections of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Expressway to make them smooth ahead of Yuletide.
Speaking on the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressway Reconstruction/Rehabilitation project, he said sections, one, three and four were above 50 per cent completed.
He added: “Section two has just been approved by the Federal Executive Council.
“That is, Cele up till Beachland Estate area, which is about 8km in length.
“So work will soon commence on that section too.”
The controller said the project was moving fast because the contractor on the project was determined to finish fast in spite of the menace of articulated vehicles parking indiscriminately on the highway.
He appealed to truck owners to remove their trucks out of the road, while pleading with terminal operators to deploy technology in their call up system to ease the port congestion causing gridlock.
Speaking on the section three of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway rehabilitation and reconstruction project being supervised by his ministry, Popoola said the lined drains construction was being fast tracked ahead of rainy season.
He added that CGC Nigeria Limited was working around Agbara stabilising the highway, listing other roads receiving attention to include Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ikorodu-Sagamu and Ikorodu-Itoikin.
Speaking on repair of bridges, the Controller said approval was being awaited for the rehabilitation of the Iganmu Bridge, while work on phase one rehabilitation of Eko Bridge had been completed.
Popoola said the contractor had in November replaced some expansion joints in the phase two of Eko Bridge project between Alaka and Apongbon Bridge, noting that additional materials were being imported.
The Controller said the materials were billed to arrive Nigeria in January.
He added that work had been completed on first phase of Marine Beach Bridge repairs in Apapa, and the contractor was waiting for additional funding to continue work on the second phase.
He explained that as construction workers prepared to free the highway to traffic, there were some critical construction works that must be completed before opening construction zones to motorists.
Popoola said: “That is why I won’t say this is the specific date we will close site, but it will be before Christmas.
“We are thinking of removing all barriers so that there will be easy movement for people during this festive period.
“Contractors plan to work throughout the holiday, but because of the volume of traffic we are expecting, we are looking at specific day to tell them to stay off and remove all the barriers.”