Politics

Bad blood? Babalakin criticizes Julius Berger over contract from which he was sacked

Bad blood? Babalakin criticizes Julius Berger over contract from which he was sacked

The Chairman of Bi-Courtney Highway Service, Dr. Wale Babalakin, has condemned the resurfacing of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, insisting that Julius Berger will not dare build such in Germany.

Babalakin, whose company won the concession for the major road before it was cancelled, described the resurfacing as completely outdated, inappropriate and a disservice to Nigeria.

He stated this at the 60th Anniversary and 8th Fellowship Conferment Lecture and Ceremony of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, in Abuja on Thursday, adding that the delay in completing the project had caused untold hardships on Nigerians.

He said: “The road being constructed is completely inappropriate and outdated. The road being built today is a resurfacing of the 1977 road. It is a road that is inadequate to accommodate the geographical growth that has taken place on the road since 1977. This includes the emergence of towns like Ibafo, Isheri, Mowe and Redeemed Church camp.

“The current road cannot contribute meaningfully to the development of road infrastructure in Nigeria. Julius Berger Plc is constructing a road in Nigeria that it will and can never suggest or contemplate building in Germany. Our heaviest traffic road in Nigeria is being built without the necessary accompanying things that should be on a highway.”

In his estimation, big construction foreign firms do not have the required capital to develop Nigerian infrastructure.

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“Most of the things they seek to do here, they can’t suggest them to their own homes. But if Nigerian engineers lead from the front, they will be able to insist on certain parameters,” he said.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also claimed that there has been so much waste of government resources, as the cost of delivering the road had skyrocketed.

“The cost of the project has now ballooned. Bi-Courtney Highways had agreed to build the road with seven overhead bridges at a cost of N112bn. The cost of this project now is indeterminable. However, it cannot be less than N300bn. This is serious waste of government resources in a country that has very little resources”, he said.

 

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