The Federal Government on Saturday assured that the proposed 470-kilometre Abuja-Lagos Greenfield superhighway will be completed in four years and last for 100 years.
They also ensured that the four-and-a-half-hour travel time for vehicles covering the route at a speed of 100 kilometres per hour was achievable.
Minister of Works David Umahi made this announcement at a press conference held at Eko Hotels, Victoria Island, Lagos.
He stated that the road would be constructed by a private-sector consortium at no cost to the government.
Additionally, he mentioned that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had approved expediting the project, with the contractor set to be on-site within three months.
According to Umahi, the consortium, Advance Engineering Company (AEC) Network Limited, will operate the facility for a yet-to-be-determined period on a Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) deal.
The superhighway would have toll points to enable investors to recoup their investment.
“When I first introduced this to the public, many doubting Thomases were saying, ‘it is impossible.
The Lagos-Abuja trip that takes 14 hours cannot be done in four and a half hours.’ This is the renewed hope of Mr. President,” the minister said.
“The president has approved fast-tracking this project. The superhighway will have two lanes, with each lane being a two-car carriageway with a width of 14 metres.
“The only carriageway equivalent to this is the Third Mainland Bridge, where each carriageway is 14 metres wide. It will be constructed with a 275-millimeter-thick concrete layer.
“The projected lifespan of this project is 100 years. It will be completed within four years, and this is achievable. Several bridges will be built, and tolling points will be established.
“We are not investing any money, but we will assist them in every possible way,” he added.
Umahi further explained that the superhighway, made entirely of concrete, would pass through eight states in the south-west and north-central before reaching Abuja.
The states include Kogi, Ekiti, Oyo, FCT, Lagos, Ogun, Niger, and Kwara.
The minister commended the private consortium behind the deal, expressing satisfaction with their concept and preparations.
“So, the next step is to present the business proposal so we can negotiate the project’s cost. Then they will engage with the Ministry of Finance to negotiate their funding.
“The advantage of building this road with concrete is that we can predict the cost. For asphalt, the cost varies each month.
“Concrete roads are more durable and cost-effective than asphalt. I have directed all ongoing projects that haven’t progressed beyond 80 per cent to shift to concrete,” he said.
Umahi emphasised the project’s seriousness, noting that the contract agreement would be rigorous. If the consortium backs out unreasonably, it may be liable to pay a fine of $10 million.
The chairman of the consortium, Kenny Martins, described the project as “the first of its kind in Africa,” highlighting that it would be ICT-compliant with a fibre optic connection, solar-powered street lights, and security points throughout the road.
Martins explained that in Lagos, the route would start from the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge in Epe and extend to Abuja.
Upon completion, travel time would be reduced to just four and a half hours from Lagos to Abuja.
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