The federal government yesterday in Abuja approved the take-off of the reconstruction of Oworonshoki- Apapa express way in Lagos State at the cost of N72.9 billion.

Making the disclosure at the end of wednesday’s weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in the State House, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the reconstruction would be done under a private public partnership (PPP) arrangement.

According to him, the reconstruction would be undertaken for the first time since 1975, by Dangote Group, adding that the reconstruction would cover Creek Road, Tin Can Island, Beachland Estate and end up at the toll gate end of the Lagos – Ibadan express way.

Fashola who also said the reconstruction plan would be a 10-lane road of five lanes on each side, as well as drainage, said the work is a 27.8-kilometre road and 79.8 linear-kilometre arrangement.

“The approval that Ministry of Power, Works and Housing secured wednesday was for the reconstruction of Creek Road, Tin Can Island, Beachland Estate right through to Oworonshoki all the way to the Lagos end of the Toll gate end of Lagos – Ibadan expressway.

“This is the full reconstruction of that road which was built, l believe, around 1975 as part of first port expansion undertaken then in the 70s. That road then was intended to evacuate cargoes out of Lagos without running through the spines of the city. As you have variously reported, it was in the state of disrepair. Council now approved its reconstruction at the cost of N72.9 billion.

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“This is a full reconstruction excluding the fact that between Coconut and Mile 2 which had been done by the previous administration is not involved. Some things are instructive about these.

“First, it will be done through PPP model. The constructing company will be the Dangote group. It will be financing that construction to the tune of N72.9 billion as certified by PPP.

“Another instructive thing to note is that this is the fist full reconstruction of that road since it was constructed at about 1975. All previous efforts had been to repair damaged sections. So, it is going all the way to reconstruct the road.

“The third thing to note is that the entire construction involves procurement of 27.8 kilometres made up of 10 lanes – five lanes on both sides – three on the main carriage way, two on service lanes. So, essentially, you are constructing about 79.8 linear kilometres and that also include drainage and use of extensive cement work and rehabilitation of bridges.

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“We expect contractors to move to site. This is our own long term solution to the problem contributed by the road congestion there. This will provide enduring solution to what is currently being experienced by commuters,” Fashola said.

Also briefing journalists, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said FEC approved the action plan for the return of Nigeria to the Egmont group following the signing of National Financial Intelligence Union (NFIU) Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigeria was suspended from Egmont group last year over the country’s failure to separate the NFIU from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and accord it the required independent status.

According to him, the action plan included anti-money laundering and converting financing for terrorism assessment, pointing out that come September, Nigeria would make case for its readmission into the Egmont group at its plenary.

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NFIU had been admitted in 2007 into the Egmont Group, a global body responsible for setting standards on best practices for financial intelligence units (FIUs) in over 131 FIUs from 131 jurisdictions.

The Egmont group was reportedly founded in 1995 to foster international collaboration in the exchange of intelligence by member states.

The AGF also disclosed that FEC approved mutual agreement between Nigeria and Macao in China for the exchange of prisoners between the two entities to enable the return of Nigerians serving prison terms in Macao to the country to serve out their prison terms.

Malami said the decision was made by the federal government in acknowledgement of the rights of Nigerians irrespective of their statuses to life and dignity of human person, explaining that the treaty would offer Nigerians in prison abroad to complete their terms of imprisonment in comfort.

Malami also said the move included plans to provide facilities in Nigerian prisons to accommodate the exchanged prisoners.

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