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FG begins reconstruction of N79b Ibadan-Ife-Ilesa expressway

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• Gives five-year timeline for completion of water projects
• Ex-minister laments abandoned Anambra road

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has disclosed that the Federal Government will begin reconstruction of the Ibadan-Ife-Ilesa expressway next month.He stated this during an inspection of ongoing federal road projects in Osun State yesterday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on September 25, 2019 approved the reconstruction of the expressway.He said the road, which covers distance of 112 kilometres, would cost the Federal Government N79b, adding that Kopek Construction Company would handle the project.

Fashola, who was represented by Director of Highways, South West, Funso Adebiyi, said the road, like every other road in the country, was of economic importance to government.

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Describing the expressway as one of the busiest roads in the country in terms of traffic volume, he said the reconstruction work would be completed in the next three years.He added that the Federal Government had continued to maintain the road through palliative and maintenance work, just as he appealed to commuters to co-operate with the contractor.

On the 34-kilometre Illa-Orangun-Kwara boundary road, Fashola said the project would cost the Federal Government N5.1b, adding that government had spent N1.5b to complete 10 kilometres of the road.

Also, the minister said the ongoing Efon-Alaye-Iwaraja-Ilesa 21-kilometre road construction would cost the government N4b, pointing out that the Federal Government had spent N2.9b to complete 12 kilometres of the road.

Besides, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has urged management of the ministry and heads of River Basin Development Authorities to prioritise completion of all water projects within five years.

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Adamu made the call in a communiqué issued in Abuja after a management retreat for heads of agencies under the ministry in Calabar, Cross River State at the weekend, saying it was his desire to accomplish some priority projects between 2019 and 2023.He charged them to re-double their efforts toward contributing to the realisation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision and promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

Meanwhile, a former Minister of Aviation in the First Republic, Mbazulike Amechi, has expressed disappointment over the abandoned seven-kilometre road linking two local government areas in Anambra State, saying it was adversely affecting movement of people and farm produce.

Amechi said the road, which was awarded by the Dame Virgy Etiaba administration since 2007 links Ukpor and Ozubulu in Ekwusigo Council Area, lamenting that all successive governors of the state abandoned the road.But Anambra State Commissioner for Works, Ifejiofor Marcel, assured that work was already ongoing at the site and that the contract was awarded to one of the construction companies handling road projects in the state.

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