Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said in Abuja that Funding for the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is captured in the 2016 budget and the road will be constructed despite court injunctions against its further development.
Fashola said that the Federal Government would focus more to developing roads that carried heavy vehicular traffic across once the budget was signed into law.
The minister was quick to note that the amount needed to complete the over 200 roads that had been awarded was about N2tn, adding that the government would make sure that every road get some level of attention.
He said, “The Lagos-Ibadan road as you know is now the subject of a court case. Injunctions have been obtained to stop the arrangement put in by the last administration to finance the road with the private sector. And an injunction was granted by a court in Nigeria saying that nobody should raise money or finance the development of the road.
“Thankfully, there’s no injunction against the government building its road yet, and I hope there will be none. So, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is part of what we put in the budget this year.
However, I got a message last night (Monday) from one of the lawyers suggesting to me that the action has been dismissed. But this was late last night. So, these are some of the problems that we see, when people write and get court orders to stop development.
“At the end of the day, in a contract, the main remedy that the law recognises is damages for breach of contract; of course, you know I am a lawyer. But why should the developmental process of Nigeria and the lives of Nigerians be held in abeyance because you are in court?”
“But there are some roads that are more compelling than others, and my classic case is the Ilorin-Jebba road. That road is the lifeline for agriculture as it ensures a lot of supply between the North and the South. So, our stand is to focus on those kind of roads that carry the heaviest number of vehicles and that carry critical services, which other departments rely on to survive.”