Director laments delay in road construction

March 24, 2013 10:03

MINISTER OF WORKS MR M IKE OLOMNEMEN

NAN-H-19

Director

Lagos, March 24, 2013 (NAN) The Director of the South West Zone of the Federal Highways, Alhaji Kabir Abdullahi, on Sunday said that inadequate budgetary allocation was delaying road projects beyond stipulated periods.

Abdullahi made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, pointing out that that contracts were awarded but not funded adequately.

According to him, inadequate funds usually affect road construction and can make a mess of portions completed.

``For example, a project can be awarded to last for two years but may drag on for more years because of inadequate funding.

`` Assuming the contract is awarded for N10 million and the contractor is given only two million in the first year, there is no way the project would not drag long,’’ he said.

The director explained that portions of roads constructed had the tendency to deteriorate if the work was not completed on schedule.

Responding to calls by some members of the House of Representatives to probe Julius Berger over alleged ``shoddy job’’ on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Abdullahi said that professionals should be used for road projects.

``The House can send professionals to do the check but Julius Berger is constrained by funds and has not completed the project,’’ he said.

Commenting also on calls by the lawmakers for construction of pedestrian bridges on the highways, the director said it could only be possible after the highways had been completed.

``There must be enough budgetary allocation to complete the highways before we can now talk of pedestrian bridge,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Julius Berger moved out of site on the Lagos-Abeokuta Highway in June last year, due to inadequate budgetary allocation for the project

Some members of the House of Representatives had on Feb. 28 this year, told the Federal Ministry of Works to probe Julius Berger over alleged shoddy job carried out on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.

The House, in a motion during plenary, called for the repair of the highway as well as construction of pedestrian bridges on strategic locations.

Abdullahi also spoke on the call by the Afenifere group for urgent reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, saying that the contract would be awarded this month.

``The Honourable Minister of Works has assured that before the end of this month, contract for the construction of the road will be awarded,’’ he said. (NAN)

GA/AJA/SN

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MINISTER OF WORKS MR M IKE OLOMNEMEN

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