REVEALED: HOW OBJ STOPPED LAGOS-IBADAN EXPRESSWAY PROJECT

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Says Jonathan’ll launch Superhighway linking six geopolitical zones in second term
Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, has disclosed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo rejected a bid by the World Bank to reconstruct the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway while he was in office.
The minister, who stated this in an interview, said that the World Bank had indicated interest in reconstructing the road as far back as 2006, adding, however, that the former president insisted that the road would be concessioned.
According to him, the World Bank has a collaboration with the Federal Government to implement a programme tagged the Federal Road Development Project, noting that the number one road the Bank indicated interest in was the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway.
The minister, who also praised the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to end the cycle of corruption in the road sector by tinkering with the certification system for contracts, said that the ministry has been able to showcase many achievements, because the president has ended the cesspool of corruption.
He said: “I just told you about the collaboration the Federal Ministry of Works has with the World Bank through the Federal Road Development Project. The collaboration between the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria is being operated by the Federal Ministry of Works in the road sector and for the World Bank, the number one road they indicated interest in funding and constructing was the Lagos/Ibadan expressway.
“As far as 2006 when the negotiation started, Lagos/Ibadan expressway was the number one road. But in the wisdom of the then president, that road was not to benefit from the World Bank funding. Rather, that road was to be concessioned. I have no problem with trying to access funds from private sector investors. It is one of the ways we have to drive development in the sector.
“But these particular private investors were not ready; so, the project came to a standstill. Whereas, I just gave an example of the reconstruction of the road from Enugu to Abakaliki, to Ogoja, to Mfon; when the government dropped that (Lagos/Ibadan expressway) road from the list, the World Bank now focused on this Trans-West African corridor and it’s fully reconstructed as I speak to you. In fact, on that road, you could close your eyes and just drive, if you have gadgets that can guide you and put you on the right way.”
He urged Nigerians to give President Jonathan another four years to rule the country, adding that his administration would launch what he called Golden Triangle Superhighway
He said Jonathan has already concluded plans on the launch of the “Golden Triangle Superhighway, which is going to link the commercial city of Kano with Lagos, with Calabar and all the way through Gombe, Bauchi, back to Kano and it’s going to be linked with the Kano/Maiduguri expressway.”
He said that the road would link at least 22 state capitals in Nigeria and would be within a distance of one and a half hours to each state capital.
“Which means from all parts of the country through that Golden Triangle Superhighway, you can get to any other part of the country because that highway will be within one hour 30 minutes reach from about 22 State capital cities and a lot of towns and cities along the road.
“So that is what is in need for Nigeria? When you vote for President Goodluck Jonathan, at least, you can see how the future will look like in the road sector,” he said.
On corruption in the Federal System, he said he was usually amused whenever people talk of corruption in the current administration, adding that having witnessed monumental corruption in a previous government, he is in a position to compare the two worlds. 
Source: Tribune

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