Bi-Courtney to transform Lagos-Ibadan Expressway into World Class Standard

Sharing is caring!


Bi-Courtney Highways Services Limited (BCHS) is poised to turn the Lagos Ibadan Expressway into a world class standard in the light of the progress being made with the fine-tuning of the existing concession agreement with the federal government. The Lagos-Ibadan expressway is a 107km limited-access dual carriageway stretching from Oworonshoki in Lagos; traversing Ojota, Sagamu junction, Ogere in Ogun state and terminating at Ojoo in Ibadan, Oyo State. Bi-Courtney Consortium owners of BCHS is the only Nigerian firm that has successful delivered on public-private-partnership initiative as manifested by the success of Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2). When fully on stream, the rehabilitation and consequent management of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway under the concession agreement is expected to trigger multiple employment opportunities from a wide range of actors from across the sectors of the economy.

To ensure commencement of work by BCHS and its team of local and international partners on the project, a review of the concession agreement has been ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan. NigerianEcho gathered that the review was at its final stage at the Federal Ministry of Works. Following the approval of review agreement, BCHS will activate its agreement with its international partners which comprise of two South African giants, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Group Five. Other international partners to work with BCHS on the project include Vela VKE; supporting engineers and consultants, Project Management International (PMI); a South African based construction experts and Yolas Consultants. RMB is the second largest financial institution in South Africa. It won the 2011 Banker Investment Banking Award as the Most Innovative Investment Bank from Africa. Group Five is a multidisciplinary construction group with an established and growing international client base engaged in resources, energy and infrastructure delivery. Group Five has completed several major highways like the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in Africa and many more around the world. Group Five accomplishments include the successful delivery of the King Shaka International Airport, KwaZulu-Natal, and a range of contracts related to the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup. Recent capital project involving group five include the N1N2 Toll Road Concession (Scheme developer 2001) – Value $2.5billion, King Shaka International Airport, Durban, SA – Value $700million, Gauteng Freeways Improvement Programme –Value $250 million and the Zimbabwe Road Rehabilitation Phase 1 – Value $200million. Toll investments and operations involving group five are the A1 Motorway (Poland) – Operations; M5 and M6 Motorways (Hungary) – Concession, D1 Project (Slovakia) – Concession, Pensacola Toll Bridge (USA) – Operations, N1 Great North Toll Road (RSA), and the Marian hill and Oribi Toll Plazas (RSA).

The delay in the full commencement of work on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway originally projected as a four-year long critical intervention has been erroneously touted as a failure on the part of Bi-Courtney and a subject of negative media reports exploited by mischief makers to cast aspersion on the integrity of the partnership agreement and that of BCHS. But NigerianEcho has authoritatively gathered both the federal government and BCHS have not relented efforts to see to the earliest commencement of the full implementation of the agreement with the view to realizing the objective of building a world-class expressway that will link Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre with Ibadan city to create convenient transportation for social and economic transformation.

The 25-year Concession agreement with Bi-Courtney Consortium, concessionaires of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was signed by Honourable Minister of Works, Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Hassan Lawal under President Musa Yar’Adua’s administration in furtherance of the commitment of the federal government to infrastructure development which is in tandem with the transformation agenda of the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. According to an official of Bi-Courtney Limited, the concession agreement which is a Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) arrangementis currently been fine-tune to address grey areas. The official described some negative media reports regarding the project as deliberate misrepresentation by a group of people who are out feather their selfish nest either for economic or political purpose.

The rationale for the concession of Lagos-Ibadan expressway was to enhance the potential of the road network for national development. The concession became necessary in the light of the clamour by individuals and corporate bodies for a lasting solution to the perennial state of disrepair poor management characterised by chaotic traffic situation which often make a journey of 105 kilometres on the road last for upward of over 12 hours with high incidence of accidents and frequent loss of lives and property. Under the agreement, the current lanes from Lagos would be expanded to eight to Sagamu and six lanes from Sagamu to Ibadan. The expansion will result in the demolition of any structure that is within 60.35 metres from the median on both sides of the road will be demolished with requisite compensation paid to owners of such affected structures.

NigerianEcho was informed that the full commencement and speedy implementation of the project have been delayed by some necessary preliminary steps that needed to be put in place to forestall operational hiccups and conflicts with wide range of stakeholders whose interests are remotely or otherwise tied to the transformational activities of the project. For instance, constraints of land acquisition, illegal facilities, traffic congestion and unrestrained accesses created bottlenecks for effective take-off of the project. To effectively plan ahead for huge traffic congestion that may arise when construction work fully commences, the 3-lanes standard of the bridges along the expressway needed to be put into proper consideration and addressed.

It was noted that expanding the Lagos-Sagamu section of the expressway to four lanes standard would result in obstruction of smooth traffic flow through the 3-lane bridges and impair safety of motorists the same way that widening of the bridges by additional lane to accommodate 4-lane carriageway would amount to compromising the structural design and effectiveness of the existing bridges. It was however not until July 19, 2010 that issues concerning the existing bridges on the expressway were addressed and finally approved on May 10, 2011 to the effect that the 3-lane bridges should be retained with additional lane of bridges built to accommodate expansion during in the course of the period of the concession and as may be necessitated by traffic situation. There was also the germane issue of mandatory government approval for the review of buildings and properties along the axis by the Estate Valuers which was eventually concluded in July 2011. According to information available at Bi-Courtney, the exercise was necessary so that government could determine those eligible for compensation and the value of such compensation. Full commencement of project implementation was also contingent on the determination infrastructural facilities such as installations of PHCN and other essential infrastructure that would be affected and needed to be replaced in order not to create undue hardship as a result of construction activities.

After the visit of the Minister of Works, Arc Mike Onolememen, on July 23, 2011 to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, fresh palliative works have been carried even as the final review agreement is been awaited; making it the fourth time such extensive work was done by BCHS on the road, since the concession was granted in 2009.By September 30, 2011, BCHS completed the patching and overlaying of bad portions of the highway, even though the $6.5 million asphalt plant bought for that purpose by BCHS was seized by the Ogun State government. Ogun state government also took steps to prevent BCHS from securing the ‘ROW’, which is a major step that must be taken before commencing the task of expanding and reconstructing the road. The road shoulders are been improved on continuous basis with bushy median cleared to improve drivers’ vision. Repairs have been carried out on long stretches of the road at Ibafo, along the southbound carriageway, where the whole length was cleared and backfilled to ease traffic congestion normally experienced along the stretch. A long stretches at Fidiwo, Sapade, Alapako, and Kilometre 90, near Ibadan; Fatgbems, at Isheri; Ibafo, and RCCG area, northbound from Danco Filling Station towards Conoil Filling Station has been overlaid while extensive reclamations has been carried out to redeem the failing end of the highway at Aramed, near Ibadan.

 In keeping faith with its commitment to ensure unimpeded and smooth takeoff as well as timely completion of works on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, BCHS is committed to deploying more resources towards continuous palliative works to keep the road in good condition. The electrification model for the road is being test-run at Catholic Junction (Kilometre 31) by two foreign partners working with BCHS. While ultra-modern lighting system with security gadgets have been installed, the power-plant is to be installed at the Ibadan end of the expressway in due course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *