The Federal Government has announced that N38.4 billion has been approved for the completion of some road projects in Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Imo, and Nasarawa States.
The roads are Okija-Ihembosi-For Ugbor to Ezinifite in Nnewi area of Anambra, the
20km dualization of Yenagoa road junction to Kolo and Otuoke and Bayelsa Palm in Bayelsa State as well as the road linking Nasarawa and Benue States.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday in Abuja presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the projects were inherited from the previous administrations.
The Minister said so far 34 of the 116 inherited projects have so far been completed.
“Our target is to try to complete this project by 2023. This is in line with what we have been doing since the inception of this administration in my ministry to complete ongoing, inherited and abandoned projects,” Persecondnews quotes Fashola, a former Lagos Governor as saying.
“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 13.5 km road from Onitsha-Owerri road through Okija-Ihembosi-For Ugbor to Ezinifite in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“The contract was awarded in 2011 but was not funded until this administration came in and 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,” the minister explained.
On the Bayelsa roads, Fashola recalled: The conract was awarded in December 2014 on the eve of the departure of the last administration and it couldn’t even take off because of militants’ issues at the time and also very limited budget provisions.
“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.
” 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 km Nasarawa to Loko Road. That is the road that was awarded, I believe, in 2006, so it is 15 years today, 74 kilometers 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 74 kilometer road. The contractor has struggled with just about five kilometers of it since 2006, and a small bridge.
“We have limited the contractor who was originally awarded this road to just 10.8 kilometres, that is all he will do. So, we have awarded 42 km to the contractor who did the Oshogbedo-Oweto Road and we have then awarded 21 km 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 among the three contractors,” Fashola further explained.
Fashola said the completion of the road will also save travel time for its users, especially those travelling from Otukpo in Benue state to Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
“What is instructive is that once we finish this last part of the road, although it is being used now, but is not tarred, commuters are using it because it cuts off three hours from the journey from Otukpo to Abuja.
“Motorists don’t have to go through Lafia, if you climb the Oweto Bridge across the River Benue, land in Nassarawa, you will be landing around Keffi. So, it’s cutting off 103 kilometers from that journey from Otukpo to Abuja which is about three hours. It used to be six hours plus.
On his part, the Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, said FEC approved N107 million as augmentation for the completion of Middle Rima Valley Irrigation Project in Sokoto State.
“This contract started in 1999 by the military administration then, first phase was completed, comprising 873 hectares. The phase II was started in 2007 and that is what we have been struggling to complete. It is also an inherited project.
“The total scope of the phase two is 404,333 hectares out of which about 80% of the work has been done. So, this memo is seeking a revised cost of the project, with an augmentation of about N10.7 million so that we’ll be able to finish the project, hopefully before the expiration of this administration in 2023,” he said.
Adamu said the project has a potential of generating employment for almost 50,000 people as well as enhancing food production.
“By the time it is completed, it will boost production of 39,000 tons of rice, 195,000 tons of vegetables per annum and it will generate employment for not less than 47,000 people and their families.