The efforts of Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, for use of cement concrete for for road construction received the endorsement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Monday.
At its meeting chaired by President Bola Tinubu at the State House, Abuja, the Council not only approved the continuation of road projects inherited by he current administration, but also okayed that some of them be redesigned and completed with concrete in order to check inflation that leads to unnecessary variation of project costs.
This was disclosed to State House correspondents after the FEC meeting by Umahi, who presented to the cabinet a memo concerning the total of 18.89 kilometers of inherited road projects.
He said that “we also are brought to notice of FEC that a number of projects were awarded some lasting up to 20 years back, abandoned or ongoing with no proper funding and so on and so forth.
“And there are some new critical routes totaling 12,000 kilometers and 24 bridges. FEC approved for the continuation of these inherited projects and the new proposal and directed that Federal Executive Council committee of Chief of Staff, Minister for Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Minister for Works, Minister for Budget and National Planning and Budget, GCEO/GMD of NNPLC, Chairman of IRS and SSA on Tax Reform, to meet and come up with strategies to source for the funds and everything pertaining to the funding.
“FEC was also informed on the ongoing projects and to mitigate so much inflation and variation of the projects, to have some of the projects that have not attained completion to be redesigned on concrete and going forward for new projects to be done on concrete.
“FEC approved that concept that most of the ongoing projects should be designed on concrete pavements, depending on the level of completion and if you’re doing asphalt, there are also conditions for that.
“FEC also approved the coastal road (Phase 1) which runs from Lagos to Port Harcourt to Calabar. Phase 2 runs from Sokoto to Ogoja. It was approved to be done on EPC + F (Engineering, Procurement and Construction, plus Financing).
“Eight roads that were started in the past administration for concessioning that have gone through all the processes were also approved, and that the financial closure should be reached in the month of November.
“There were nine actually but one was pulled out, that is Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta, and that has been given to the Ogun State government based on their request that they should do the road on their own and they will follow the HDMI – Hardware Development Management Initiative. No refunds for that but they will do it and toll it. New 25 roads were also approved for concessioning, which takes a very long time on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.”
Umahi further disclosed that the proposed truck park in Ijora, Lagos was approved to be done on PPP; and the contract was won by Beta Nigeria Ltd, which was actually started by the last administration.
“Finally, the consultancy for NNPC and FIRS who oversee the projects funded by them was also approved today”, the Minister added.