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Finally, Fashola opens up on Lagos port access roads, says work beginning soon

Indication has emerged that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) which recently agreed to fix failed portions of Apapa port access roads may not bear the cost after all as the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that the rehabilitation of access roads at Apapa Port in Lagos State was a priority project of the Federal Government.

It would be recalled that the managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman had in a frantic effort to persuade the striking port users including truck drivers and clearing agents to end their industrial action declared to register their rejection of the state of port access road, agreed to source funds and fix the road as soon as possible.

Though the stakeholders agreed her and called of the strike on Tuesday last week, they also handed down another 21 days ultimatum after which the mother of strike will resume.

But considering the pronouncement of the Minister is happens to be the Lagos State former Governor that also fought the apex government on the same matter, there is clear trust that work will surely begin as said.

Fashola had already  appealed to residents of Apapa and its environs and mainly the port users affected by the deplorable state of the roads to be patient with the federal government, saying “We have done the design and all that we needed to do is to commence the execution of the project”.

“I can assure you that it is going to be a concrete road that I believe will last for another 30 years when completed.

“A couple of private companies have offered to work with us to fix the roads and I think in a matter of weeks, we should be able to commence work.

“We are very close, we have held two meetings in the last 10 days with the companies and have agreed; what is left now is for us to formally sign the MoU,” he said.

Fashola further revealed that the delay in its commencement followed the commitment of the ministry to ensure transparency in the procurement process of the project.

Continuing, he noted that “We needed to get certification of all the prices as well as approval from the Federal Executive Council to commence the project and that is the only delay,” and revealed that provisions for budget funding of Apapa, Tincan Island and Mile2-Oworoshoki road, all of which should evacuate the port, has not been sufficient.

According to him, the estimated cost from contractors for the project was in the region of over N100 billion, but what was approved for the job was in the region of N7 billion in the budget.

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