The Minister assured that only a diversion and not a "closure", will apply to the Shagamu end of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway
The closure had been billed to commence on Thursday, November 3, 2016.
According to the reports, the contractor handling that end of the road, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, had said the road will be closed for nine days, beginning from November 3 to November 12, for repair purposes.
The Ogun State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Clement Oladele, even issued a statement to back up the news reports.
“There will be a temporary closure by Julius Berger Nigeria of a section of the Ibadan/Lagos corridor by Shagamu Interchange from Thursday, November 3 to Saturday November 12 to effect repairs.
“Motorists should exercise caution and adhere to traffic rules; cooperate with the FRSC officials and other traffic officers who will ensure minimal discomfort to motorists during the period.
“Demarcation with traffic signs has been made on appropriate routes to follow and our men will be on ground to control traffic. Motorists are advised to be patient and obey traffic signs and traffic controllers.”
News of the closure has set off panic within the large community of road users who ply the route on a daily basis.
The road is the major gateway into Lagos; the nation’s commercial capital.
However, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has told Pulse that reports of the road closure are unfounded.
“Following the panic traffic build-up along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway as a result of alleged “closure” of the road, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has clarified that there is only a diversion on the road and not a full closure”, the Minister said in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello.
Fashola clarified that Julius Berger Nigeria plc “only diverted the Lagos-bound side, from Shagamu interchange to Kilometre 37, to the Ibadan-bound side to enable it lay final layer of asphalt wearing course on the Lagos side".
The statement said contrary to the Traffic Advisory on a “closure” attributed to the FRSC, "the diversion was necessary to enable Julius Berger use the double finishers at the same time, thereby avoiding cold joints".
While urging motorists to be patient and tolerant in order to ensure orderly traffic management, the statement said the company had promised to carry out the job quickly in order to reopen the side of the road where there'll be a diversion.