Minister of Works, David Umahi, has cancelled the use of laterite as a base in road construction and directed that, henceforth, contractors should use lumps, sharp sand and stone base to form the base before laying of concrete or asphalt pavement.
The minister stated this at the inauguration of the committee for the supervision of the Reconstruction of Benin – Warri dual carriageway and the dualization of East – West Road, Port Harcourt – Onne Port junction road in River State.
Umahi noted that laterite has a limited load bearing capacity, susceptible to erosion and weathering especially in areas with heavy rainfall and this can lead to degradation of the road surface overtime, maintenance challenge and does not last long.
In a statement made available to newsmen by the Director (Information) Press & Public Relations Unit, FMW, Lere-Adams Blessin on Friday, October 6,2023,, Umahi said,”We are giving very serious attention to the roads between Benin and Warri. The road between Eleme and Onne Port, we are mindful of the site conditions of these roads, the water conditions and the boreholes instead of pot holes on these roads. No more laterite, contractors are now to use lumps, sharp sand and stone base in place of laterite”
The Minister 6old the newly inaugurated Road Taskforce Team that there must be a continuous maintenance of all the roads under construction until the end of the project and theyb should make sure that the contractors are duly informed of the development, and that they should remember that the ministry is under the matching order given by Mr. President to fix Nigerian roads for the citizens to have ease of movement from one location to the other.
“The committee must implement the contract agreement with maintenance culture as key. Committee members are to monitor the contractors closely to make sure things are done right. Our contractors can now understand that we are not insisting that things have to change without a reason, but that the society is demanding for sustainability and integrity of the work they are doing”.
Umahi disclosed that road infrastructure is one of the key factors for the revolution of our commerce, education, security and power in this country and that Mr. President is committed to our road infrastructure improvement and thus the Ministry is on a mission to uphold the renewed hope agenda of this administration on road infrastructure provision.“I want to say that road infrastructure is one of the key factors for the revolution of our commerce, education, security and power in this country and Mr President is committed to our road infrastructure, so we are on a mission and we must take back our country”
The Minister mandated the committee on daily proper supervision and documentation of what the contractors are doing and that they must ensure the new methods of construction are followed including maintenance because it is part of the elements of the project and anything contrary to that attracts punishment.
“We are not at war with the contractor but contractors should not put the public to suffering. Proper daily supervision and documention of what the contractor is doing is compulsory. They must ensure the new method of construction is followed and maintenance follows too because it is part of the elements of the contract and any offence is punishable”.
Umahi ordered that contract must be stable; no variation (VOP) on the contract will be accepted. He charged the contractors using asphalt pavement to ensure that their contracts are stable, sustainable and can stand the test of time and warned that the ministry will not go to Federal Executive Council (FEC)to ask for increment because of the fluctuating price of bitumen, insisting that the ministry will not go beyond the N6trillion set aside for the ongoing projects completion.
“Those contractors using asphalt concrete and have achieved 80 per cent completion can go ahead but no cost variation because I cannot be going to the National Assembly on weekly basis asking them for increment of contract sum”
The Minister added that before mobilization fund can be released to any contractor, the contractor must have mobilized 50% of its equipment and personnel to site. He noted that the ministry will respect the rights of contractors and contractors have to also respect the right of the citizens.
Meanwhile, the committees constituted are as follows :
• Reconstruction of Benin-Warri Dual Carriageway (Section 1 : By Levant Construction Company Ltd)
Engr. C. Oke, Deputy Director HSSI; Engr. B. W. Hassan; Representative of the Honourable Minister; Representative of Highways MG&QC; Representative of Human Resources Department, FMW; Representative of Legal Department, FMW ; Representative of COREN; Representative of NSE.
Reconstruction of Benin-Warri Dual Carriageway C (Section 11: By Geld Construction Company Ltd/Triata Nigeria Ltd (JV))
Engr. (Mrs) B.O. Ogunleye Ag. Director HSSII; Engr. Mathew Ogar (Ag. FCW, Delta); Representative of the Honourable Minister; Representative of Highways MG&QC; Representative of Human Resources Department, FMW; Representative of Legal Department, FMW; Representative of COREN and Representative of NSE.
Reconstruction of Benin – Warri Dual Carriageway (SECTION III: BY SKCC Nigeria Ltd)
Engr. Oladele Oladunjoye, Deputy Director Highways NC; Engr. Tari Enwereams, Chief Engineer Rivers State Field HQ; Representative of the Honourable Minister; Representative of Highways MG&QC; Representative of Human Resources Department, FMW; Representative of Legal Department, FMW; Representative of COREN and Representative of NSE
Dualization of East-West Road, Section III: Port Harcourt (Eleme Junction)-Onne Port Junction Road in Rivers State.
Engr. David Nwachukwu, Deputy Director Highways (RD-S); Engr. O. A. Adetunji, FCW, Rivers State; Representative of the Honourable Minister; Representative of Highways MG&QC; Representative of Human Resources Department, FMW and Representative of Legal Department, FMW.
The Minister directed that a letter should be sent to the Nigeria Union of Journalist requesting for a journalist each to be sent to each of the sites to report to the general public what is going on in the project site, and also a member of NUPENG to each of the project site. He promised that the ministry will provide all logistics to make sure the assignment goes on smoothly without hitches.
Umahi also mentioned some other projects which Mr. President has magnanimously approved and funds released for its construction, thus: the rehabilitation of the third mainland bridge, East West Road between Warri and Cross Rivers, the reconstruction of Shadam-Lafia Bridge and New Artisan Bridge in Enugu that collapsed a week ago.
The Minister on behalf of the Ministry thanked President Tinubu for erasing the fear of the citizens and stressed that the ministry will have to double the response of Mr. President and have directed the Directors incharge of those zones to move straight to site and do the needful.