By Anthony Isaac
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has charged contractors working on the dualization of the Lokoja – Auchi – Benin road, to ensure that road users are not subjected to hardship while the work is on going.
A statement by the Ministry’s Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Stephen Kilebi said the Minister gave the charge yesterday during the inspection tour of the road.
Fashola said: “Contractors are being encouraged to ensure that road users do not face hardship while construction work is going on especially during the rainy season”.
He said that thorough work was being done on the road to achieve high quality, adding that “it’s not just asphalt that is being laid, the road is being built from under with laterites and stones”.
At the Auchi-Ehor section of the road, the Minister explained that the road was a source of discomfort to road users especially during the last rainy season before some emergency work was done, adding that the 250 Kilometres road linking the North to the South which was a single road was now being dualised.
He added that while some sections of the road had been completed others were at different stages of completion.
Reacting to questions on how long the work was going to take before completion, Fashola said, “I think it is important to highlight the problem here for some who have questioned how long it took, we had to grade it to reduce the hill which was about 7 metres which is equivalent to a two story building”.
“We brought it down to reduce accident which was a perennial problem in the area and by so doing I can say that government has succeeded in saving lives and property.’’
On their part, the representatives of the various companies handling the project promised to ensure that there was free flow of traffic while the construction work is on-going and especially during the rainy season.
The Minister also inspected the National Housing programme in Benin. The construction of the 44 units apartment project which is among the on-going 34 National Housing Programme, is near completion. The contractor gave the assurance that the project would be completed soon.
Fashola said that a sustainable process was being put in place for the sale of the houses under the National Housing Programme to deserving Nigerians.