*Committee to ensure speedy completion of project
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has approved a four-member ministerial committee charged with the responsibility of ensuring speedy completion of the East-West Road in the Niger Delta and ₦142.5 billion for construction of roads across the country.
Briefing state house correspondents on the outcome of the council’s meeting, The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that the committee consists of Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Usani Uguru Usani; and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola. He stated further that the members of the committee would undertake an inspection tour round the construction site to appraise the ongoing project in ensuring its speedy completion of the East –West Road which was mooted in 2006 under the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
The chairman of the committee, Amaechi advertently disclosed that the council approved ₦1.67 billion for the procurement of equipment for the Lagos–Kano narrow gauge in line with an initial interim agreement signed between the federal government and the GE (General Electrical).
The council also approved ₦1.2 billion for the purchase of 18 flat-bed wagons to be operated on the narrow gauge rail line by the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
He said ₦18.874 billion of the amount would be expended on the maintenance of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos as part of the federal government’s National Bridge Maintenance Strategy.
Fashola said the Third Mainland Bridge contract was awarded to one of the original contractors for the project, Borini Prono of Italy.
He said the construction company was expected to carry out maintenance works on 33 out of the 177 piles of the bridge which were in critical condition.
According to him, part of the repair works on the bridge will also involve the maintenance of General Expansion Joint Replacement and will be completed within 27 months.
The minister said the budget for the repair on the bridge was captured in the 2017 appropriation law. He said council also approved ₦80.19 billion as revised amount for the second section of the 84 kilometres Lagos-Ibadan expressway project.