By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has commiserated with the families of the victims of the road accident which claimed about 26 lives at the weekend on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Saraki, in a message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, stated that the tragic loss of lives on the highway has become almost a daily occurrence, hence, there is need for immediate action to get the private sector involved in the funding and management of the road.
He prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the road mishap and urged Allah to grant their families the fortitude to bear the loss, while also wishing those who sustained injury speedy recovery.
The Senate President stated that the accident was another indication that there was need for urgent intervention to quickly complete the reconstruction work on the road while also ensuring that the scope and quality are not compromised.
“From all that we have seen thus far, it is clear that the government does not have the money to adequately fund this road. We have to understand that the Lagos-Ibadan expressway is our busiest highway in the country, hence, it is important that we do all that we can to enable private sector funding to bring reconstruction work on the road to completion as soon as possible,” the Senate President said.
“In the last few weeks, with the Ministers of Works and Finance, we in the Senate have been meeting with members of the private sector to bring everyone to the table so as to get the commitment from all parties,” he said, “It is our hope that in the next few days, we will have good news to break to our people that we have secured all necessary commitments to get the ball rolling.
“With the right sort of funding, proper work can be done on that all-important road to avoid this kind of carnage that we usually witness. Right now, the government only has the resources to achieve the bare minimum. If the private sector gets involved, we can improve on the scope, quality and speed of work, thus making Lagos-Ibadan expressway not only safer, but avoid the loss of lives. Doing this, would make that road a funding prototype for similar large-scale infrastructure projects across the country,” Saraki stated.