President Bola Tinubu has approved the commencement of construction for sections 3 and 4 of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, spanning from Cross River to Akwa Ibom, the Minister of Works, David Umahi has disclosed.

Also, the government revealed plans to terminate the reconstruction and rehabilitation contract for the Lokoja-Benin road due to inexplicable delays and the contractors’ lack of commitment to addressing the needs of the people.

Umahi said that the commencement of the two sections of the highway, while Sections 1 and 2 are still ongoing and yet to be completed, marks a departure from old practices and reinforces the Tinubu administration’s commitment to sustaining its infrastructural development drive in line with its Renewed Hope Agenda.

Umahi, who disclosed at the stakeholders’ engagement meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state on 29, June 2024, noted that the commitment of President Tinubu to the project was confirmed by the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio at the stakeholders’ meeting.

“We are here to introduce sections three and four of the famous Lagos- Calabar Coastal Highway. We started and awarded section one which started in Lagos and terminated at the deep port in Lagos which is at 47.4 km

“There is section two that is starting at Lekki Deep Sea Port and taking it to the famous Dangote Refinery.

“The Senate President addressed the people of Akwa Ibom state and he assured them that sections three and four will start on this part of the coastal highway and this is the fulfillment of that assurance and we are happy doing this.

“Section three has 27 km on Akwa Ibom land 38 km on Cross River State. Section four is entirely on Akwa Ibom which is 80 km.

“When you add 27 know and 80 km, you have 107 km, so you are benefiting maximizing this coastal highway.

“When we complete the procurement process and award sections three and four, work will start in many sub-sections of this section all at the same time.

“Tinubu is a man who matches his words with actions. So we are happy with the level of commendations and support we received from Nigerians and so many benefits of the coastal highway,” the Minister was quoted as saying in a statement on Sunday by Edet Ekpenyong on behalf of the Ministry’s Director of Information and Public Relations.

On his part, while expressing his appreciation to the President for listening to his plea to start Sections 3 and 4 of the project, Senate President Akpabio called on the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno to give maximum support to the federal government to buy the coastal highway.

In addition, he urged the minister to engage the services of engineers from the State on the project.

Governor Eno also assured the Stakeholders that the State will cooperate with the Federal government to ensure the completion of the project.

In a similar development, while inspecting project sites along the Calabar -Itu road on his way to Cross River State from Uyo, the Minister expressed concerns over the poor state of the road and the plight of the road users.

The Minister attributed the development to the attitude of some expatriate contractors in the country, whom he described as unpatriotic.

He however warned that the government would be forced to weld the big stick if such an attitude persists by terminating the contract.

While calling on Julius Berger Nigeria to return to the project site immediately to avoid sanctions from the Ministry, he said, “We are going to do everything to support local contractors

“We are going to encourage them, build them so that they can compete with the expatriate contractors, but more pains no more gains,” he said.