House to Investigate Uncompleted N200bn Lokoja-Benin Road Project

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Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives at plenary Thursday ordered an investigation into the rehabilitation and expansion of the road linking Lokoja in Kogi State to Benin in Edo State which has gulped N200 billion.

The order followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Johnson Oghuma.

Moving the motion titled ‘Need to Investigate the Utilisation of Over 200 Billion Naira on Construction of Lokoja to Benin Road,’ Oghuma noted that the dualisation of the Lokoja-Benin federal highway from Obajana junction to Benin City was awarded to a consortium of contractors in 1999 with a completion date of December 2021.

He said: “Over N200 billion has been budgeted from 1999 to 2021, in addition to the various loans and interventions projects such as SUKUK, among others. The road is a major highway connecting routes from the North to East, South–south and Western parts of Nigeria. The House is dismayed that the Lokoja-Benin section is now a death trap, as people can no longer travel safely, and what was a three-hour trip has now become a whole day’s journey and sometimes impassable.

“The House is concerned that if no urgent intervention to construct the Lokoja-Benin road is taken, lives and goods worth billions of naira will be destroyed. The House is desirous of the need to unearth the latent and obvious reasons behind the total abandonment of the road projected for completion in December 2021.”

Adopting the motion, the House mandated its Committees on Works and Finance to investigate the slow state of works on the Lokoja-Benin federal highway, compared to the colossal amounts budgeted and expended on the highway and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.