The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will now be completed in the first quarter of 2022, Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, said on Thursday.
The road project, awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria and Reynolds Construction Company Limited (RCC), at a sum of 167 billion naira, was earlier scheduled to be finished in 2021.
Fashola, in an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, said the delay was due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has slowed construction activities and affected government revenues.
The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is part of projects funded under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund.
Other projects under the fund include the Second Niger Bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Highway
On Thursday, Mr. Fashola confirmed all three projects are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022.
“As I speak to you now, we have lost essentially the prime of our working period which is the dry season in the Covid period,” he said. “We have to regain and recover all of that.
“We have also lost some of our expected revenue plans. At the time Covid hit Nigeria, we were doing 2.59 percent growth rate. Now we are heading for a recession globally and Nigeria will not be insulated from that.
“We are working on plans to bring the economy back on track.”
Mr Fashola noted that while work was suspended during the coronavirus lockdown, earnest efforts were made to resume once the federal government started to lift restrictions.
Some 11 contractors executing 53 projects in 26 states were “remobilised back to site in the first week of the easing of the lockdown,” Fashola said.
“We had to work with the Governor to allow men and materials to move,” he added. “We also had to develop new safety guidelines for the construction.”