The Oyo State Government has faulted the claim by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, that the drainage channel built by the state had slowed down the road reconstruction along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The minister had said this while presenting the scorecard of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in Abuja.
Fashola had been quoted to have said, “The Oyo State Government is building a drainage channel across the road, so we are having difficulties because the contractor has slowed down and we have to slow down too.”
However, the Oyo State Government, in a statement on Monday, said Fashola did not have the facts and was expected to have reached out to the administration first.
The statement read partly, “Our attention has been drawn to the claim by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), that the Oyo State government is responsible for the non-completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project. It is imperative to set records straight as a government committed to ensuring that the good people of Oyo State enjoy the dividends of good governance.
“Firstly, we need to clarify that two major projects, the dualisation of the 8.2km Agodi Gate – Old Ife -Adegbayi Junction Road and a few projects under the World Bank-assisted Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project to interface with the 127.6 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project at CH 115-117, CH 117 and CH 125. In real terms, this stretch is less than three kilometres.
“Secondly, we would have expected that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing would have reached out to us to find out how long we would need to complete the aforementioned projects being that Oyo State has been in communication with the ministry.
“Just about a year ago, we had requested permission from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (through the Director of Federal Highways) to dualise the underpass at CH 115 -117. We were advised to make sure that the diversion routes are completed before embarking on the diversion. We complied 100%.”
The state government described the majority of the 22km stretch of the Lagos -Ibadan Express Road between the old Tollgate Ibadan – Ojoo as a work in progress.