NOTHING much is being said on the idea that cement should be used for road construction in the country. We currently use asphalt, but what we discover is that our contractors, due to corruption and greed, do not use the required quantity of asphalt in their construction works.
Last year, I visited Cote D’Ivoire, and I discovered that their roads are constructed with asphalt that are several millimeters high.
In Nigeria, after the contractor gets a tiny percentage of the original budget fee from the awarding agency, he will, therefore, be left with no other option than to do a shoddy job.
There is the story about a road contract awarded for N11billion in a state in the country, but by the time the contract left the government office, N5billion had already been deducted from it by government officials ‘who facilitated the project for the contractor.’
The contractor then had to ‘help’ himself with about N2billion, which he claimed he had spent before getting the contract, and in the end, a sum of N5billion was left to complete the job. Seeing that there was little N5billion could do, the contractor only applied asphalt to the surface of the road, while the corrupt government officials accepted the project as done.
The meaning of this is that after a couple of months, the recently-completed road project had returned to the terrible state it was before it was awarded.
This community is now suffering untold hardship due to the greediness of some government officials and the contractor.
However, I believe with cement, the people can also be able to rehabilitate bad portion of roads since cement is readily available unlike asphalt.
I also want to use this opportunity to call on the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) to blacklist companies and contractors that fail to execute projects to the required standard. In the example I cited, I don’t understand why a contractor would accept N5billion for a project that should cost N11billion.
It is high time the NSE began blacklisting engineers or firms that do shoddy jobs in the country; this is not only in road construction, but all construction works in the country.
- Ifedayo Ajayi,