Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works and housing, has appealed to commuters plying the Abuja-Keffi expressway to bear with the Federal Government as traffic gridlock being experienced on that axis would soon be over.
Fashola made the appeal shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, noting that the ongoing expansion of the road network is meant to alleviate their suffering in the long run.
The Minister estimated that over 20,000 vehicles ply the road on a daily basis, noting that if it were possible, the road would have been shut down completely to enable its speedy completion.
He explained: “On the Abuja-Keffi road, the reason we’re there in the very first instance to build the route is that it has become insufficient to manage the large traffic of commuters. We understand the inconvenience that commuters feel trying to use that road.
“We appeal to them to bear with us. It’s a challenge for us, I think, almost 15 to 20,000 vehicles, if not more, use that corridor now almost on a daily basis.
“We wish we could shut it down so that we can have uninterrupted construction but unfortunately, that’s not possible. So, to manage traffic, people have to drive through a construction site we’re building.
“So, please bear with us. We’ll do the best we can to minimize the inconveniences. When the road is finished, be sure that the current inconvenience would have been well worth the wait and the experience.”
Meanwhile, FEC approved contract awards totalling about N58 billion for projects under the ministry of works and housing and the ministry of humanitarian affairs, social development, and disaster management.
Fashola revealed that his ministry had approval for the termination and re-award of the 49 kilometres section of Abaji to Kotokarfi road, which is part of the Abuja-Lokoja highway, to Messers Galt for N56.175 billion.
He said FEC also approved the revision of the contract of the Afo-Apoto-Oyo boundary road in Kwara by the sum of N251,530,000, which revised the contract sum from N3,060,000,000 to N3,311,000,000.
According to him, this is to enable the contractor to make provision for drains, replace unsuitable material and reconstruct damaged shoulders of the road, as well as accommodate some variation costs.