FG Committed to Building Quality Roads – Fashola
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government in providing quality road infrastructure across the nation.
The Minister stated this during an inspection visit to the sections I and II of the ongoing dualisation/expansion of Abuja–Keffi– Akwanga road construction project
Fashola was in company of the Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing Engr. Abubakar Aliyu during the inspection.
He said that the quality of road construction across the nation cannot be compromised as the Ministry had the manpower and the technical know-how to build good road of international standard.
The Minister noted that all the nation’s highway projects are critical and strategic, describing the Akwanga-Makurdi road, linking the north central and north east as strategic and as such the Federal Government is doing all that is possible to complete it to standard and not rushing them to avoid shabby work.
“The essence is to make life better for the people, ease traffic flow for the commuters and promote economic activities of the citizens” he stated
Fashola explained that a lot of activities are involved in road construction, such as excavation, cutting down of trees, relocation of existing structures to have clear access for construction.
He explained that during the road construction citizens’ rights are highly considered and their right of ownership protected in terms of compensation and related matters
“We respect human activities along the road, we have to meet them, talk to them and agree with them. We have to remove electrical installations and all that for our work to move on “he said
Earlier, the Project Consultant informed the Minister that they have made a lot of progress with an aggregate of 45.8 percent completion of work in Section I (Abuja-Keffi) and 41percent completion in section II (Keffi-Akwanga)
Breaking down the work progress, the Consultant stated that, 90 percent has been achieved in the construction of culverts and drainages, 60 percent attained in bridges and 40 percent in the pavement construction
He also listed: relocation of utilities (telecom, water & electricity), compensation, Covid-19 lockdown and outstanding payment as part of their challenges
In his contribution, the Federal Controller of Works, Nasarawa State, Engr. Daikwo told the Ministers that the progress of work on the road is encouraging even as the Covid-19 lockdown had affected its progress
He informed the Ministers that the land acquisition and compensation process is at an advanced stage, while relocation of existing services away from the proposed road corridor is still pending and requires client action
The 220km Abuja- Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia- Makurdi road project is 85% funded by the Chinese Export-Import Bank and 15% counterpart fund from the Federal Government which is a budget issue
“For those who have issues with the borrowing, they can now come and see what it has done. All the people who work here would probably not have work to do if not for the borrowing” Fashola said
The Project is being implemented by the Road Sector Development Team (RSDT) Unit of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing