Inner southern expressway project to be completed by December, says Wike


By Chioma Nnodim

Minister, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Barr Nyesom Wike, has promised to deliver the Inner Southern Expressway project by December.

The minister made this known on Monday,
in Abuja, when he inspected some road projects to ascertain the level of work so far. The project is a four-way 13.193-kilometre road with 10 lanes, from Southern Parkway to Ring Road II (Galadimawa roundabout).

Wike, who described the expressway as a very ambitious project, said that it would be delivered in December, if adequate funding was provided to the contractors. “On the inner southern carriage way, you can see how huge it is, and a very ambitious project, “We are not afraid of tackling it. We believe by the grace of God, and with adequate funding, the project will be completed, and of course, will change the landscape of FCT.

“This will be completed this year, we believe, if we fund them very well, which we believe we will do and the project will be delivered by December. “We are happy with what the contractors are doing, and we believe that if they fast track the job before the rain comes this year, we will achieve quite a lot.

“We are happy with the transformation going on in FCT and with the support President Bola Tinubu is given to us, we have no choice but to deliver for the residents to be happy,” he said. The minister also visited the construction site of a 15-kilometre Left-Hand Services Carriageway of the Outer Southern Expressway Stage II from Ring I Junction to Wasa Junction. The minister expressed confidence that the two projects, when completed, would decongest the traffic being recorded along the roads.

Earlier, Mr Shehu Ahmad, Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority, explained that the Left-Hand Services Carriageway project began from Apo roundabout to Wasa Junction. Ahmad said that the project was awarded at the cost of N17.6 billion of which N5.1 billion has been paid so far, with outstanding liabilities of N6.2 billion. He said that currently, the project was at 57.8 per cent completion and requires over N12.5 billion to complete.

On the Inner Southern Expressway, Ahmad explained that it was an extension from Southern Parkway to Ring Road II. Ahmad added that the project, which was at 30 per cent completion, was awarded for N91.8 billion, adding that N26.7 billion have been paid so far, with outstanding liabilities of N14.1 billion. He said that a total of N65.1 billion would be required to finish the project.

Reacting, Deputy Director, CGC Nigeria Ltd,
Mr Fan Jin, blamed the slow pace of the inner southern expressway project on the high number of bridges. He said that the road has four interchanges, eight bridges, 15 river bridges, five pedestrian bridges and other ancillary facilities. Jin said that the project was initially designed to be completed in 2027, adding however, it could be delivered sooner if well-funded.