Reps call for review of Abuja-Lokoja dual carriageway contract

• Task FERMA, others on installation of traffic signs on federal highways

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, tasked Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on the need to carry out an evaluation of the contract for the reconstruction of Abuja-Lokoja dual carriageway.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Hassan Abdullahi, who underscored the need to assess the quality and durability of the ongoing road construction and ascertain its conformity with the architectural and engineering designs in line with the contract specification.

According to him, the contract for the reconstruction of Abuja-Lokoja Expressway was awarded to Messrs Dantata and Sawoe, RCC Nigeria Ltd, Bullentine Construction Company Nigeria Ltd and Gitto Construzioni Generalli Nigeria Limited in 2006 with some of the contractors have completed their sections while others appear to be experimenting.

“The dual carriageway has become dangerous for thousands of Nigerians that ply the very busy road with strange folds, contours and potholes that have continued to frighten drivers and passengers, thus leading to harrowing travelling experiences with the stretches between Giri junction to the main Gwagwalada town and between Abaji and Lokoja being the worst sections.

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“The House further notes that the 196 kilometres highway is one of the most critical roads in the country, being the major link between the North and South for the movement of people and goods through vehicular transportation.

“The House equally notes that the road has turned to a death trap as a result of heavy traffic and badly constructed portions which have led to daily multiple accidents resulting to deaths and destruction of properties worth several millions of naira,” he said.

To this end, the House mandated its Committee on Works to liaise with the Minister of Works and Housing and other stakeholders with the view to review the conflicting issues on the construction of the Abuja-Lokoja Expressway with a view to balancing information on the state of reconstruction of the road and report back in four weeks for further legislative action.

In a related development, the House tasked Federal Ministry of Works & Housing and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) on the need to install traffic signs on all Federal highways.

The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Victor Mela, who expressed concern over the deplorable state of about 194,394km federal road network which is the largest in Sub-Sahara region, stressed the need for proper maintenance of the roads.

“The House is aware that most of those roads were built more than 40 years ago and are not being properly maintained over the years, as a result, some of the signs put up on the roads have been destroyed or blocked by trees and shrubs.

“One of the most integral elements of smooth flow of traffic on the highways is the proper posting of and visibility of road signs which indicate the condition of the highways to the drivers.

“The House is worried that most dangerous areas on the highway such as sharp bends, uphill, downhill and blind spots do not have adequate warning signs and construction of site a situation that has resulted in many avoidable accidents.

“The House is also worried some of the Armed Forces checkpoints on the federal highways don’t have caution traffic signs from 50 meters away to the barricade indicating the existence of roadblocks, and this has caused many avoidable accidents.

“The House is concerned that the rate at which accidents occur in Nigeria dying is very alarming, especially during festive periods with no fewer than 2,598 Nigerians in road accidents between October, 2017 and March 2018 according to statistics by the Federal Road Safety Commission.

“The House is aware that physical disability and morbidity from road accidents do affect the young and the economically productive age groups and sometimes those who survive often endure a diminished quality of life from deformities and disabilities,” Hon. Mela said.

To this end, the House urged the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to provide interim measures before permanent signs are put up along the highways.

In the same vein, the House admonished FERMA on the need to ensure that all federal highways do not have trees, shrubs and obstacles close to them.

In the bid to ensure effective implementation of the resolution, the House mandated its Committees on Works and FERMA to ensure compliance.

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