Mixed reactions greet approval of N169.84bn roads’ contracts award by FEC

IN view of the deplorable condition of many roads across the country, the approval of  N169.84 billion contracts work  last week  by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), while elicited hope of better things to come this year, professionals in the construction industry expressed mixed feelings over the development.

Among the roads that listed by the Power, Works and Housing Minister, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, include the  Umuahia-Ikot-Ekpene, Yola-Fufore-Gurin, Ado-Ekiti-Igede-Aramoko-Itawure, Makurdi-Gboko-Katsina-Ala, Billiri-Filiya-Taraba Border Roads, among others.

These, roads, according to Fashola, are expected to open up settlements, provide access for evacuation of goods and services and improve socio-economic lives of the beneficiary communities.

Besides, a projected number close to 3000 thousand direct jobs are to be generated with over 90 per cent to be taken up by Nigerian workers

However, despite the plausible explanaions provided, professionals in the construction industry, while lauding the move, urged the appropriate authorities to monitor the project, by ensuring that contractors do the needful.

“By doing the needful, we are talking of early mobilisation to the sites. Rain is fast approaching and it can be a convenient excuse for contractors to abandon their works, citing inclement whether, while funds have been released.

“ Therefore, one needs to plead with the government, especially, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, to ensure that the contractors are of impeccable character who will do their jobs”, said engineer Shuahib Mohammed, who is the chairman, Goldlight Engineering Services.

Another commentator, Dr. Tunji Adeniyi, a civil engineering consultant in Lagos, express his worry over the timing of the project, especially, now that in a few month or weeks, ‘power may change hands in the political system’.

“Ours is a country where orderliness is hard to maintain. Nobody can determine what may happen if the current mimisters and other top officials are no longer in the equation. With that scenario, nobody can say this, or that will happened”, he said, also urged proper arrangement to be in place before the new executive members and new Assembly members assume the mantle of office.

Speaking on the project,  Fashola stated that the projects would enhance Federal Government’s objective of improving transportation infrastructure and restoring the nation’s road network as part of implementation of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

The approval, which was sequel to a memorandum presented to the Council by the Minister on May 2nd, 2019, covers the Rehabilitation of the Umuahia(Ikwuano)-Ikot Ekpene Road, Umuahia, Umudike in Abia State,  Rehabilitation of Calabar-Oban-Ekang Road (Section1) in Cross River State, Construction of Yola-Fufore-Gurin Road in Adamawa State, Rehabilitation of Ado-Ekiti –Igede-Aramoko-Itawure Road in Ekiti State and Rehabilitation of Funtua-Dandume-Kaduna State Border Road in Katsina State.

Others, according to the memorandum, are the Rehabilitation of Makurdi-Gboko-Katsina-Ala Road (Yandev-Katsina-Ala Section) in Benue State, Rehabilitation of Old Enugu-Onitsha Road (Opi Junction-Ukehe-Okpatu-Aboh Udi-Oji to Anambra Border), Rehabilitation and Dualization of the 74KM (Approximately) Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road in Abia/Akwa Ibom States, Construction of 4 kilometre Township Road in Gaya Local Government Area of Kano State and Rehabilitation of Billiri-Filiya-Taraba State Border Road in Gombe State.

“While the Umuahia (Ikwuano)-Ikot Ekpene Road is awarded to Messrs Hartland Nigeria Limited/ Raycon and Company Nigeria Limited in the sum of N13,296,283,958.68 with a completion date of 48 months, the Rehabilitation of Calabar-Oban-Ekang Road (Section1) in Cross River State is awarded to Messrs Setraco Nigeria Limited in the sum of N27,781,851,866.55 with a completion date of 24 months while the construction of Yola-Furore-Gurin Road (approximately 56KM) is awarded to Messrs Wiz China Worldwide Engineering Limited in the sum of N13,643,670,884.81 with a completion date of 12 months”, the Minister informed.

The memorandum also shows that while Messrs Rockbridge Construction Limited will rehabilitate the 43 Km (approximately) Makurdi-Gboko-Katsina-Ala Road (Yandev-Katsina-Ala Section) in 24 months at the cost of N11,892,018,600.00, Messrs Arab Contractors O.A.O Nigeria Limited will rehabilitate Old Enugu-Onitsha Road (Opi Junction-Ukehe-Okpatu-Aboh Udi-Oji to Anambra Border) (Approximately 90Km) in 24 months at the cost of N31,946,055,289.93 and Messrs CGGC Global Project will rehabilitate and dualize the Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road in 24 months at the cost of N30,649,735,111.38.

Also included in the award are the construction of a 4 kilometre Township Road in Gaya Local Government Area of Kano State by Messrs Birak Engineering & Construction Company Limited in the sum of N1,755,086,798.85 with a completion period of 12 months and the rehabilitation of Billiri-Filiya-Taraba State Border Road by Messrs Triacta Nigeria Limited to be completed within 24 months in the sum of N14,048,396,236.88.

Stating that his Ministry, towards the realization of Federal Government’s objectives of restoring growth and investing in the people, decided to initiate the new road reconstruction and rehabilitation projects in some states of the Federation to open up settlements, provide access for evacuation of goods and services as well as improve the socio-economic lives of the people within the stretch of the different communities in the project areas, Fashola said the 50KM Umuahia (Ikwuano)-Ikot-Ekpene Road would  create  between 180 to 200 jobs with 90 per cent of the jobs for Nigerians and 10 per cent for expatriates.

According to him, while the rehabilitation of the approximately 60 Km Calabar-Oban-Ekang Road (Section1) in Cross River State, will generate between 400 and 500 jobs with 40 per cent of the jobs for Senior Nigerians and 100 per cent for intermediate workers, the construction of Yola-Furore-Gurin Road in Adamawa State, will generate no less than 300 jobs with 90 per cent reserved for Nigerians and 10 per cent for expatriates.

Also while 200-250 workers will be employed in the  rehabilitation of Ado-Ekiti –Igede-Aramoko-Itawure Road in Ekiti State with 90 per cent of the jobs to be handled by Nigerians and 10 per cent by expatriates, the  rehabilitation of Funtua-Dandume-Kaduna State Border Road in Katsina State will generate 200 jobs with 80 per cent for Nigerians and 20 per cent for expatriates.

In the rehabilitation of Makurdi-Gboko-Katsina-Ala Road (Yandev-Katsina-Ala Section)in Benue State, according to the Minister, 100 workers will be employed with 90 per cent of them Nigerians and 10 per cent expatriates while 400-500 workers will be employed in the rehabilitation of Old Enugu-Onitsha Road (Opi Junction-Ukehe-Okpatu-Aboh Udi-Oji to Anambra Border) with Nigerians constituting 90 per cent while expatriates will make up the remaining 10 per cent of the work force.

The rehabilitation and Dualization of Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road in Abia/Akwa Ibom States will, according to the Minister, generate 200 jobs with Nigerians taking 80 per cent of the jobs  and expatriates take 10 per cent. And also while 200 workers will be employed in the construction of the 4 kilometre Township Road in Gaya Local Government Area of Kano State with 10 per cent of the jobs to be done by expatriates and 90 per cent by Nigerians, the rehabilitation of Billiri-Filiya-Taraba State Border Road in Gombe State will generate 300 jobs with 90 per cent for Nigerians and expatriates making up the remaining 10 per cent of the workforce.

While itemizing the Scope of Works to be covered in each of the Projects, the Minister also gave extensive details of the procurement processes which began under the 2018 Appropriation with newspaper advertisements in July 2018 and culminated in the certification and issuance of a Due Process Certificate of “ No Objection” for each of the 10 Projects by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

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