The Minister of Works, David Umahi said the Federal
Government has shifted the delivery of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to November.
Umahi disclosed this while speaking during an interview on
Channels Television’s Politics Today.
The minister identified funding as a major challenge facing
the project and promised that his ministry would soon approach President Bola
Tinubu for intervention.
Umahi also said the continuous pilling of asphalt on the
Third Mainland Bridge could cause vehicles to overturn.
According to him, the federal government had earlier said
the Lagos-Ibadan road project would be delivered in mid-September after multiple
He said, “Let’s give it to November. We may have a little
bit of challenges on funding but it is something that I intend to discuss with
He noted that the funding will come from the Presidential
Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) programme.
“Right now, we have a balance of N18 billion on that axis to
pay. The stringent condition is that you cannot take funds that are meant for
one project to do the other one,” he said.
Umahi stressed the importance of concrete roads, saying the
federal government was considering using concrete for the construction of major
roads across the country.
The former Ebonyi state governor explained that the
importation of bitumen was putting more pressure on the naira, maintaining that
many roads built on concrete have a life span of 50 years.
Umahi noted that Tinubu, who served as Lagos governor
between 1999 to 2007, was one of the pioneers of concrete roads in the country.
He said, “Mr President is not new to concrete roads. While
he was governor, he could be said to be one of the foundational sponsors of
“He did (and does) understand that when you have a very high
water table and when you have constant rainfall most of the time, you need concrete.
Concrete is very friendly with the rain. So, he did quite a number of concrete
“Even another aspect of concrete roads which is
interlocking, you go to Victoria Island [in Lagos], you (will) see it. If
anyone goes bad, you just remove it, clean it up, and fill it with sharp sand.
I should say that is his (Tinubu’s) idea,” he added.
Umahi also said that the continuous pilling of asphalt on
the Third Mainland Bridge could cause vehicles to overturn.
“You see, each carriageway of the Third Mainland Bridge is
14 metres, which means that each carriageway has two standard carriageways. So,
we are dealing with 14 carriageways.
“What has happened is that in engineering design – there is
what is called a dead load and the asphalt is a dead load. What that bridge is
meant to carry is two inches of overlay asphalt.”
Umahi added, “But over the years, in the course of
maintenance, when a portion of it is scratched, what will happen is that they
will come and clean it up and put another asphalt on it.
“So, we have an asphalt thickness of between four and 12
inches. So, if you are riding on that Third Mainland Bridge, you will see that
you are on a super-elevation and that is dangerous. It can cause overturning.
And again, it is not designed to carry that dead load,” he added.
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