Contractors given several road projects without capacity to execute them: Umahi

Road construction

The federal government says only competent contractors will subsequently be engaged in handling road projects across the country to reduce the incidence of delay in completion.

Works Minister Dave Umahi disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said some contractors got several road projects at once without the capacity to handle them.

“The delay of contractor completion has been identified as the propensity of contractors to take on several road projects that they do not have the equipment to tackle,” the minister stated. “This has led to delays and sometimes abandonment of projects across the country. This needs to change so that the renewed hope of the Tinubu-led administration can reach and benefit the people.”

Mr Umahi said the President also approved the contract for various roads across the country that needed urgent attention, including the Benin-Sapele, Third Mainland bridge rehabilitation, and the East-West Road.

The conditions are that you will guarantee Nigerians that when you finish this asphalt road job, you are very sure it will not fail within at least 15 years.

On the use of asphalt, the minister said contractors would be allowed to use it with certain conditions attached to ensure quality jobs.

“The ministry is only providing an alternative to asphalt by introducing the use of concrete in road constructions. But if any contractor wishes to continue with the asphalt, then he must meet the conditions,” said Mr Umahi. “The conditions are that you will guarantee Nigerians that when you finish this asphalt road job, you are very sure it will not fail within at least 15 years.”

The minister noted that “the design shelf life is 20 years but assure us in writing from a reputable insurance company and from their own company that this road will not fail within 15 years.”

He added, “So we are saying that concrete is very friendly with water, and so we want you contractors to have an alternative. There is a catalyst in the use of concrete pavement. It will create jobs for our people. Everything about the construction is local.

“Ten manufacturers of cement have indicated an interest in building cement factories. That is good for our economy. It will reduce pressure on the naira. The road is going to be much more durable.”

Mr Umahi called for the cooperation of all stakeholders to the various reforms by the administration to create a new economic prosperity for Nigerians, adding “no gang up by anybody or group” will deter this determination. (NAN)

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