InfrastructureNational DevelopmentNewsFG Approves N38bn for Completion of Abandoned Road Projects in Five States

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ABUJA — The federal government has approved a sum of N38.4 billion for the completion of abandoned road projects in Benue, Bayelsa, Anambra, Imo, and Nasarawa state.

Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing confirmed the development to state house correspondents on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

According to the minister, the projects are old and were inherited from past administrations.

He noted that the cost of the projects was revised to reflect the recent prices of goods.

“They are not new projects; they are projects that we inherited and we are trying to complete. So essentially, they relate to cost revision because of the ages of the contracts and the prices of goods that have changed.

“The first one was the contract for a 13.5km spur of the road from Onitsha-Owerri road through Okija-Ihembosi-For Ugbor to Ezinifite in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra.

“That contract was awarded in 2011 but wasn’t funded until this administration came in so the contractor is asking us to revise the contract by a review of N488, 980, 891 and an additional completion period of six months and the council approved that review of price and the extended completion period,” he said.

The minister said the second contract was that of the 20km dualization of Yenagoa road junction to Kolo, Otuoke and Bayelsa Palm in Bayelsa state.

“It is one of the contracts that we have since activated with the sukuk bond. So, the dualization is progressing but there is some additional work that needs to be done,” he said.

“There are also results of further investigations that support a revision of the contract by N7.947 billion and this was approved by the council.

“The third one is the 74-kilometer Nasarawa to Loko Road – that is the road that was awarded, I believe, in 2006, so it’s 15 years today, 74 km and it has not been completed.

“This road links the Loko-Oweto Bridge, which we inherited and which we have completed and that Loko-Oweto Bridge links Nasarawa to Benue, across the River Benue and also connects to the Oweto to Oshogbedo Road, which we also inherited, which we have completed.

“The complete lane from Otukpo to Nasarawa ought to be facilitated by this 74km road. The contractor has struggled with just about five kilometres of it since 2006, and a small bridge.

“So, what we’ve proposed was that instead of going through the long process of termination and all of that, we proposed and council agreed that the contractor who finished the bridge and the contractor who finished the road, because they were all awarded to different contractors before we came, should join this contractor and take up the remainder.

“So, we’ve limited the contractor who was originally awarded this road to just 10.8, that’s all he will do.

“So, we’ve awarded 42 kilometers to the contractor who did the Oshogbedo-Oweto Road and we’ve then awarded 21km, which is the part joining the bridge directly, to the contractor who completed the bridge.

“So, all of these totaling a revised project sum of about N30 billion, shared amongst the three contractors.”

Fashola also added that the completion of the road would also save travel time for its users, especially those travelling from Otukpo in Benue to Abuja.

“This is strategic also for providing prosperity, lifting people out of poverty because if the saying that time is money is true, everybody who saves three hours has three hours’ extra productivity and also consumes three hours less fuel and travel time and so on.

“So, council approved this memo and we hope that sometime next year we can complete that linkage.

“But as you know, those of you who went with me, commuters are already using the road despite that path not being complete,” he said.

Beloved John (Staff Writer)

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