Nigerian Government Halts South-East Road Projects, Initiates ...
Home News Nigerian Government Halts South-East Road Projects, Initiates Contract Review 
News - 3 weeks ago

Nigerian Government Halts South-East Road Projects, Initiates Contract Review 

Former Ebonyi State governor and current Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has taken action to halt certain road construction projects in the Southeast region, pending a comprehensive review of both existing and additional contracts related to these road projects.

Umahi issued this directive during an inspection of ongoing construction and rehabilitation of federal roads across states in the South-East, which he conducted in Enugu State.

During the inspection, the minister expressed concern over the cost-efficiency of the projects, specifically noting that four bridges and three kilometres of additional work amounted to a staggering N15 billion.

“I have directed directors in the ministry to sit with the contractors and review it,” Minister Umahi declared. 

He firmly believes that the cost of these projects should not exceed three to four billion naira. 

The former Ebonyi governor emphasized that when a project becomes excessively expensive and the budgeting process is not aligned, contractors may remain on-site for an extended period, causing delays and inefficiencies.

Minister Umahi praised the quality of work on certain roads in Enugu State. However, he temporarily suspended payments to contractors and directed a thorough review of the existing contracts and additional work scopes.

Umahi issues 7-day ultimatum to contractor 

Furthermore, Umahi issued a seven-day ultimatum to the contractor responsible for the Mmaku road to return to the construction site and complete the binder course. 

He also mandated that the right-hand side of the Enugu-Onitsha expressway be constructed with concrete to enhance cost-efficiency and durability.

Minister names reasons for bad roads in Nigeria

The minister highlighted an issue of concern, where contractors leave the binder course without covering it for extended periods, ranging from five to eight years.

This practice leads to deterioration as the binder course is susceptible to water infiltration, which ultimately affects the subgrade. To address this, Umahi instituted a policy where contractors must cover the binder course within one month to prevent structural damage and financial losses due to equipment maintenance.

Umahi emphasized that many Nigerian roads experience failure not primarily due to sub-base or subgrade issues but because of poor-quality asphalt caused by adulterated bitumen imported into the country.

A list of inspected road projects

Some of the road projects inspected during this assessment included the Ozalla-Akpugo-Amangunze-Isu Onicha (Enugu-Onitsha) road with a spur to Onunwere in Enugu State, executed by Arab Contractors.

The rehabilitation of the Old Enugu-Onitsha road, also completed by Arab Contractors. 

Additional projects reviewed were the construction of the Nenwe-Nomeh-Mburubu-Nara road with a spur from Obeagu-Oduma road in Enugu State and the rehabilitation of Nsukka-Ikem, Eha Amufu-Nkalagu in Ebonyi State, among others.

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