Governor Yahaya Bello has announced that contract for the Ganaja flyover will commence in the first quarter of 2021.
Bello made this known in his new year broadcast in Lokoja.
He said marking of structures to be affected for compensation is already completed and the original designs are being expanded to include a comprehensive overhaul of Lokoja township roads.
This new year assurance is coming barely two years after the state government explained that the flyover project was suspended to attend to more pressing infrastructure needs of some communities in the state. The flyover project was suspended after payment of 1.86 billion Naira to TEC Engineering in 2016.
The Ganaja flyover meant to find a lasting solution to re-occuring traffic gridlock along the ever-busy junction has been a mirage since 2014.
During an interaction with stakeholders and community leader in June 2014, then Governor, Captain Idris Wada disclosed that the state government was made to have a rethink over the flyover project following experts’ advice to the contrary.
Wada said the delay in starting the project derived from the advice of the consultants approached to provide the template for the project but who stated in their report that a flyover would not be necessary option in the task of addressing the pains of motorists and road users at the said point. In the place of a bridge, he said an alternative suggestion had been raised by the experts which, aside costing government less money, will effectively address traffic problems of Ganaja junction.
However, few weeks before the end of his tenure in 2016, Captain Wada’s government awarded the flyover contract to Messrs TEC Engineering Nigeria Limited at the cost of N4.6 billion.
Three weeks after the well publicized flag-off of the project by Wada in 2016, incumbent Governor Yahaya Bello took over the reins of governance.
Three years into Bello’s government, nothing was heard of the project until documents surfaced that the government had paid TEC Engineering 1.86 billion Naira since 2016.
In its defense, the Bello-led government said the company was directed to use the already released funds by way of virement to handle some other projects which would have more direct impact on a larger number of the people. Some of these projects were: Ankpa township road, Idah – Anyigba road and Mount Patti road.
In a paid advertorial in 2019 signed by the then Director General of Media and Publicity to the Governor, now Commissioner of Information, Kingsley Fanwo, the state government explained that it diverted the 1.86 billion Naira meant for Ganaja Flyover to other projects which would have more direct impact on a larger number of people.
Fanwo had explained then that the Flyover project itself has not been jettisoned, in view of its huge cost outlay there is need to review the funding parameters before commencing full-fledged construction to avoid creating an abandoned project which would worsen a bad traffic situation indefinitely.