The N220 billion Lagos-Badagry Expressway is being delayed by oil and gas pipelines on the path of the project, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said.
Fashola spoke yesterday in Lagos at an interaction session with civil society organisations (CSOs).
The Lagos-Badagry Expressway was awarded to China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) three years ago.
The 48-year-old Badagry Expressway, to be rebuilt in 10 lanes, will accommodate a light rail, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor, and other facilities.
Fashola said the delay was caused by oil and gas pipelines, which the Federal Government built between Mile 2 and Volkswagen area.
The minister noted that construction cannot continue in those areas until the Federal Government removes the pipelines.
According to him, Lagos State is in charge of the construction, which stretches from Eric Moore to Mile 2 and Agboju in Iyana-Oba, while the Federal Government will construct the road from Agbara to Badagry.
Fashola said: “The construction of the road cannot be done in parts. A section must be completed before the contractor moves to another one. The areas around Mile 2 to Agboju-Lagos State University (LASU) must be completed before the project continues from Agbara to Badagry, where the project is expected to end.
“However, the problem lies at the Mile 2 and Agboju section. There are pipelines around that area. It is not possible to construct the road on the pipelines. The pipelines, which are causing the delay, must be removed first.”
The minister also said some people were damaging highways and other assets across the country.
He added that it will cost the Federal Government much to replace the damaged assets.
Fashola said the government was handicapped about the issue because those damaging the highways were not reported to the government.
The minister said until they are arrested and reported to the government, it would be difficult to prosecute them.
He said government would enforce a law forbidding people from damaging federal highways.
Fashola urged the CSOs to arrest anybody found to be damaging highways to serve as a deterrent to others.
The minister said the government had set up a committee on right-of-way, adding that the committee will cover Federal Government roads.
He added: “The maintenance of the roads is a lot of work, and it requires money. Unfortunately, no money is budgeted for such now. In 2018, we hope to do something about the issue, if the budget is approved.”