By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved road contracts worth N35.944 billion in six states of the federation, bringing to a total of 16 roads the council has approved in recent times.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, in a statement Sunday by his Special Adviser on Communication, Mr. Hakeem Bello, said that the newly approved roads were in pursuance of the federal government’s commitment to developing the nation’s road network in the six geopolitical zones.
The council, had three weeks ago, approved the award of N169.74 billion contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of 10 roads across the country.
However, the minister said that the beneficiary states in the latest approvals during the last FEC included Kebbi and Zamfara States, where a N3.813 billion contract was approved for the rehabilitation of BirninYauri-Rijau, Magajiya to Daki-Takwas Road; Akwa Ibom State, where a N1.1 billion contract was approved for the construction of Atan Ikot Okoro road with a bridge at Esssien Udim Local Government Area, and Ebonyi State, where N3, 071 billion was approved for the reconstruction of Oso-Owutu road.
He added that in Benue State, a contract of N27.3 billion was approved for the rehabilitation of Makurdi-Naka-Adoka Road Phase 1.
Fashola said that the other approval was for Kano State, where an augmentation sum of N676.2 million was approved for the completion of the construction of Wudil-Utai-Achika-Darki-Jegaware road whose contract was first approved in 2012 by FEC at an initial sum of N4.4 billion.
According to him, “The approvals, which were sequel to two memoranda submitted to the council by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), showed that the Makurdi-Naka-Adoka Road Phase 1 in Benue State will be rehabilitated by Messrs Gilmor Engineering Nigeria Limited in 42 months, the Kebbi/Zamfara road by Messrs H&M Nigeria Limited in 12 months, that of Akwa Ibom State by Messrs Raycon and Company Nigeria Limited in 28 months, while that of Ebonyi is awarded to Messrs Sabtech Towers Nigeria Limited with a completion date of 18 months.”
The minister revealed that initially, the completion of work on Sudil-Utai-Acika-Darki-Jegaware Road in Kano State, which contract was first approved by FEC on November 14, 2012 for N4,393,730,153.20 was 24 months and it involved the rehabilitation of approximately 23 kilometres single carriageway road and construction of a bridge with a completion period of 24 months by Messrs Birak Engineering & Company Limited.
Fashola explained that the completion was, however, stalled due to limited budgetary allocations in the preceding fiscal years leading to the current approval of additional N676,177,886.40, bringing the total cost to N5,067,908,050.30, while an additional six months have been added to its initial completion period of 24 months after all due processes have been complied with.
He stated: “While the rehabilitation of the 122km long Makurdi-Naka-Adoka Phase 1 Road in Benue State involves site clearing and earthworks, provision of culverts and drains, among others, the rehabilitation of the 13 km Birnin-Rijau, Magajiya to Daki-Takwas Road in Kebbi/Zamfara involves the construction of a bridge and the provision of culverts and drains among others and the Atan Ikot Okoro Road involves construction of a bridge and a 4.5km approach road among others, while the 9km Oso-Owutu Road in Ebonyi State involves site clearing and earthworks and construction of culverts and drains among others.”
In terms of creating job opportunities, while the rehabilitation of Makurdi-Naka-Adoka Phase 1 Road in Benue State will generate 150 to 200 direct jobs with 90 per cent of Nigerians as direct staff, the rehabilitation of Birnin Yauri-Rijau, Magajiya to Daki-Takwas Road in Kebbi/Zamfara States will generate between 50 and 100 direct jobs with Nigerians taking all the jobs and the road in Akwa Ibom will create 50 jobs for Nigerians alone while the reconstruction of Oso-Owutu in Ebonyi State will generate between 50 to 120 direct jobs for over 90 per cent Nigerians.
Fashola noted that his ministry has decided to initiate new road reconstruction and rehabilitation projects in some states of the federation as a means of generating jobs, both direct and indirect.
He said that upon completion, the roads would open up settlements, provide access for evacuation of goods and services as well as improve the socio-economic lives of the people within the different communities in the project areas.