FG approves N430 billion for construction, rehabilitation of 17 roads and bridges

by Laila Ibrahim

The Federal Government has approved N430billion for the construction and rehabilitation of 17 strategic roads and bridges across the nation.

The construction project is under the ‘Roads and Bridges Project of the Federal Ministry of Works’, which will span across 14 states of the federation.

While briefing journalists after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, December 3, the supervising minister of information, Mohammed Nurudeen disclosed that the roads include; Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Nassarawa, Abia, Niger, Kogi, Cross River, Lagos and Kaduna states.

Also at the briefing were the Ministers of Works, Mike Onolomemen; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Stephen Oru; and Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, the Supervising Minister of Information said the roads and bridges projects is expected to generate a total of 13, 500 jobs for Nigerians engineers, technicians, artisans and unskilled labour.

Onolememen told journalists that there are budgetary provisions of N11 billion in the ministry’s 2014 Appropriation and N10 Billion from SURE-P for the projects, while the balance will be provided for in subsequent budgets.

Council approved the award of contract for the construction and rehabilitation of the 17 No. Roads and Bridges (Categories A and B) in the 1st batch of roads and bridges projects contained in the ministry’s 2014 budget implementation in the total sum of N430,564,974,946.72.

The Works Minister also explained the benefits of some of the projects, saying that the Bodo-Bonny road in Rivers State with 3 major bridges across Afa Creek, Opobo Channel and Nanabie Creek, will ensure that Bonny island that contributes the “Bonny Lite” to the Lexicon of the world’s oil market and a major economic island in Nigeria is finally linked with a road access for the first time since Nigeria came into being.

This, he said will open this treasure island to many more Nigerians and reduce the high cost of living in one of the hitherto most expensive industrial towns in Africa.

He revealed that the new Ikom bridge will help to open up the Calabar Port for business to the people of the North-central and North-Eastern Zones of our Country, as the old steel-trussed bridge has height restriction that does not permit haulage vehicles to go through.

The Agae-Katchia-Baro road in Niger State will help to link Baro Inland Port to the FCT, thus promoting inter-modal transportation in Nigeria, as envisioned in the National Infrastructure Master Plan. Not only that; the novel use of rigid pavement design, also known as concrete road on this alignment and on the Ikorodu-Shagamu Road linking the NNPC Depot at Mosimi, will mark a new dawn in road construction, as the construction materials will be 100% locally sourced, with improved longevity and reduced life cycle costs. This will help to catalyse economic growth in Nigeria.

According to him the reconstruction and dualisation of Aba-Port Harcourt and Enugu-Lokpanta sections of the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway will not only ensure that the entire corridor from Enugu to Port Harcourt is reconstructed , it will also bring a new lease of life to the people of Nigeria that live and do business in this part of the country, especially in the South Eastern and South-Southern parts of Nigeria.

The rehabilitation of Damaturu-Biu road, and Gombe-Kaltungo Section of Gombe-Numan-Yola road, he said will bring succour to the people of the North-Eastern Nigeria, that have witnessed wanton destruction of roads and bridges by the insurgency in the area.

He added that considering the track records of the Contractors approved for handling these strategic highways and bridges, and the financing architecture that has been put in place in all 17 projects are expected to be completed on schedule and on cost.

Council also approved the variation a variation in the cost of of constructing Gbaregolor-Ogriagbene road in Bomadi in Delta state amounting to N1.21billion, thus bringing the total cost of that project from N7.34 billion to N8.56 billion.

N2.2billion had already been earmarked for the project which is being handled by Setraco Nig. Ltd, in the 2014 budget, with a completion period of six months.

Another contract of N661.33 million for the Niger Delta is the engineering supervision of the Section V (Oron-Calabar) of the East/West road through Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.

The sum of N1.4 billion has been provided for it in the 2015 Budget for the project while $500 million is also being expected from China EXIM Bank for its final execution.

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