Apo-Karshi road set for opening ― FCT Minister
Residents of the Nyanya-Mararaba axis of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) may soon heave a sigh of relief as the administration is hoping to open the N6.3 billion Apo-Karshi road before the rains set in to ease congested traffic.
Minister of the FCT, Muhammed Bello, said while briefing correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja on Wednesday, that the problems that delayed the implementation of the project have been surmounted.
He assured that the 13.25-kilometre road, first awarded in 2011 to Kakatar Engineering Limited, a company owned by Azibaola Robert, a cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan, will be completed and open for public use before this year’s rains.
According to him, the delay in the execution of the project was caused by an error of design whereby, a huge rock outcrops on the alignment of the road for the delay.
The road was designed to ease the gridlock at the AYA-Nyanya-Mararaba section of the Abuja-Keffi road that links the Abuja metropolis with some densely populated satellite towns including Karshi, and neighbouring Nasarawa State.
The award of the contract by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), 2011 was for a sum of N6.4 billion (N6,355,609,124.53).
The scope of the contract was to include site clearance and earthworks; construction of culverts (pipe and box) of various sizes; drainages; construction of two bridges of 3-span (45m) and 5-span (75m); rehabilitation of one bridge; as well as pavement and surfacing.
The minister, who spoke on the inconvenience faced daily by commuters due to gridlock on Abuja-Keffi road, which the project is designed to ease, said the construction is now at an advance stage.
He said: “The Karshi-Apo road is a project that should have been delivered by now. One of the main challenges faced in that road has to do with an error in the design whereby, a huge rock outcrop on the alignment of the road corridor became very difficult to be able to arrange. But we are very happy to say that it is now almost taken care of. I believe within a few months time hopefully before the onset of the rains this year, that road would be open.
“Already a portion of that road which links Tundun Wada on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway via old and new Karshi is now very motorable because of the bridge constructed there by the Ecological Fund, which was commissioned about a month ago.
“I believe this road would help on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway particularly the portion from the military formation right to Nyanya, which I’m sure you aware the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing are working on. It’s been widened and all the alignment for the road proper have been graded.”
On the protest by residents against insecurity and incessant abduction by Pegi community in Kuje area council of the FCT, Bello said the situation was being looked into with a view to addressing them.
He added: “On the demonstration by Pegi community over insecurity, all the insecurity concerns were raised at the FCT security council meeting on Tuesday. We are focusing on three things – vandalism, cultism and drug abuse and communal clashes. We have looked at them and we are working on them.”
The minister also blamed lack of funds for the non-completion of the road leading to the resettlement area in Pegi.
According to him, “The road in Kuje leading to the resettlement centre has been affected by budgetary constraints especially as you know 2020 was a difficult year for everybody particularly in terms of our ability to fund our projects. But I hope in 2021 based on what we have in the budget we will work as much as possible to see that this project is completed after all it’s just 14 kilometres.”