IF pronouncement by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, is anything to go by, there will be absence of traffic gridlock on the South East roads in the coming festive period.
Giving the assurance at an interactive session with members of 21 civil society organisations and the media in Lagos, last week, Fashola hinted that the designs for Benin, Asaba and Onitsha roads have been completed and that contractors would be mobilised to the sites any moment from now.
Although the minister hinted that the issue of compensation was another factor that caused the delay in the commencement of the project, especially, Asaba-Onitsha Bridge section, he said that the issue was receiving attention.
However, he promised that no matter the situation, the ministry will ensure that necessary palliative works will go hand-in-hand with the construction proper to ensure free movement of traffic from December to January.
“The delay boils down to the fact that before we got into office, there was no design for the roads from Asaba to Onitsha Bridge, but we have done that. However, we have resolved to do Benin bypass to Asaba and we hope to start some remedial works there before construction proper commences.
“What I cannot confirm as of today is the procurement issue and the stage it is. But I can assure the public that work will start before December.
“My intention is to start work before heavy traffic that is usually associated with yuletide period builds; but nonetheless, travelers will have easy commuting,” Fashola assured.
He explained that other logistics put in place to ensure free movement during the festive period involved the contractors, the Fesderal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) sector commanders, Federal Controller of Works in the states and ministry officials, who will ensure that commuters would not be subjected to unnecessary hardship.
On the ongoing Lagos-Badagry Road expansion, Fashola, while admitting that there is a certain degree of joint responsibility between the FG and Lagos governments, noted that one of the major causes of the delay had to do with the relocation of oil and gas installations buried in certain portions of the expressway.
“I don’t have information currently on the progress or the process of their relocation. I don’t know how far it has gone,” he claimed.
The minister also hinted on the progress so far on the construction of the second Niger bridge, which he said government has paid the contractor handling the project, Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, three weeks ago for the continuation of the project and that government has concluded plans to award a contract for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 69 highways nationwide.
“Apart from continuation of works on the second Niger Bridge, 25 roads would receive attention soon, as bid processes to deliver the Sukuk bond is almost complete.
“Each zone of the country is getting N16.67 billion and they are going to those major arterial roads that take us from the Ports to the Sahel.
“We have lost some time because we have to follow due process. Since the Sukuk was agreed we had to follow due diligence,” he said, adding that additional 44 other roads captured during a nationwide tour by the officials were also under procurement process.
He promised that contracts for the roads would be awarded immediately the completion of procurement and that the roads will cover six geo-political zones of the country.
The minster expressed hope that all the 69 roads to receive attention would become motorable within a short time, urging public in the fight against illegal sand excavation on road edges and other forms of road abuses..
“We have set up a Right of Way (RoW) Recovery Committee and I know that it has started working.
“We are trying to recover all the RoW that used to belong to the Federal Government across the country breaking them into zones.
“It is a lot of work, but there was no budget for it, so, all of the costs are being compiled and then we are hopeful that in 2018 we would be able to do something if we get the project approved.
The minister explained that vegetation control was also ongoing as part of its RoW recovery plan.
He added that the government was ready to hand over more roads to states governments who were willing to take them over.
Speaking on the Ota-Abeokuta Road, he said that the project was going to be redefined because the road was not initially in the 2018 budget and the contractors made some additional claims, however assured that the road would be stabilised before the end of the year.
Some of the civil society groups include Centre for Democracy and Social Economic Rights, Alliance for Good Governance, Grassroot Democratic Initiative and Centre for Social Economic and Human Rights
The post FG unfolds plan for rehabilitation of eastern roads, others before Yuletide appeared first on Tribune.
IF pronouncement by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, is anything to go by, there will be absence of traffic gridlock on the South East roads in the coming festive period. [...]
The post FG unfolds plan for rehabilitation of eastern roads, others before Yuletide appeared first on Tribune.Read Full Story