See When Musa Yar'Adua Commissioned The Lagos-Ibadan Express Way (Throwback Video, Photos) – AutoReportNG
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See When Musa Yar’Adua Commissioned The Lagos-Ibadan Express Way (Throwback Video, Photos)



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When we talk about the busiest road in Nigeria, its either we mentioned the 3rd Mainland in Lagos or the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway no doubt is Nigeria’s busiest road.

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

The expressway was constructed in 1978 by the military government of the administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo which lasted for 3 years, from 1976 to 1979.

The commissioning of the new Lagos-Ibadan expressway was done by Brigadier Shehu Musa Yaradua in 1978 who happened to be the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Headquarters then. (1976 –1979).

Brigadier Musa Yaradua while commissioning the road said in his speech…

“The expressway which we are about to open is one of the finest of its type by any standard. Your convenience, comfort and safety have all been incorporated in the highest standard of its design and construction. It does seem however that the better the road, the greater the death toll. The reported deaths on highways rose from 4,537 in 1973 to 8,000 in 1977, giving us a daily average of about 22 deaths. We all know that these are caused by excessive speeding, lack of proper maintenance of vehicles, drunkenness and a complete disregard for highway rules and regulations. I hereby appeal to all road users, and in particular, motorists, to obey highway rules and regulations, to have more respect for their lives and show care and consideration for others. This country has paid very substantially for your comfort and safety on this expressway so please do not make it a one-way ticket to death.”

The expressway linked Lagos, then the federal capital city of Nigeria with Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State.

Work on the highway began four years ago. It was hoped to be finished a year ago (1977), but because of the scale of the undertaking, the contracts were extended. It replaces roads which carried the heaviest traffic in the country. Brigadier Shehu Musa Yar’Adua praised the project.

The Brigadier then formally opened the new highway, the first rural expressway in the country.

The road cost a total of 170 million naira (nearly 266 million dollars). And to recover at least part of that cost, and to pay for its upkeep, road users are mandated to pay a toll. Even at the opening ceremony, Brigadier Shehu Yar’Adua led the way in paying for the service the new expressway offers.”

These are some of the pictures AutoReportNG grabbed for you.


The Lagos–Ibadan Expressway is a 127.6-kilometre-long (79.3 mi) expressway connecting Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State and Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city. It is also the major route to the northern, southern and eastern parts of Nigeria. The expressway is the oldest in Nigeria, commissioned in August 1978 during the Military era, under the administration of Major-General Olusegun Obasanjo, who resigned on October 1, 1979, before he was later elected on May 29, 1999.

This expressway is the busiest inter-state route in Nigeria and handles more than 250,000 PCUs daily and constitutes one of the largest road networks in Africa.

The reconstruction of the expressway was flagged off on July 2013 by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the immediate past President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to help reduce the travel time of hundreds of thousands of commuters and international air passengers. The contract was awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria and Reynolds Construction Company Limited at a sum of 167 billion Naira, equivalent to $838,986,290. Two sections of the expressway will be reconstructed and this includes Section I (Lagos to Sagamu Interchange) and section II (Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan).


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