The Federal Government has given contractors handling road projects that have been abandoned, a 14-day ultimatum to return to sites or face revocation of the contracts.
The government also threatened to drag contractors ganging up against the use of concrete for road construction to the anti-crime agencies, including the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other related offences, ICPC.
The Minister of Works, Senator Dave Umahi, disclosed this after meeting, behind closed-doors, with President Bola Tinubu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.
Umahi, who vowed not to succumb to the gang-up and blackmail from contractors, said President Tinubu had given him the support for the use of concrete in reinforcement.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting with the President, Umahi said some contractors had keyed into the policy, just as major cement producers had agreed to discount prices for such government road builders.
He also highlighted the advantages of cement roads over asphalt/bitumen, including cheaper costs and the need to encourage local production of cement against importation of bitumen.
Umahi further warned contractors against the dodgy attitude of securing about 20 projects but deploying as few as two units of equipment to site.
On the agenda of the meeting with the President, he said: ”I came to Villa to see Mr. President to discuss about road infrastructure. I want to thank God because Mr. President approved all my requests. And these requests will renew the hopes of Nigerians on our road sector development, the approvals will rejuvenate proper road construction.
”But let me clarify a number of issues, especially for the benefit of Nigerians and our stakeholders. There has been a kind of campaign by some quick fix contractors and some elements you know, within who do not wish us well, who want us to continue with the old order.
“But we can’t continue to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. The truth is that our roads are not good. The truth is that the past government earmarked a number of roads, which Mr. President inherited, close to about 18,897 kilometer of road to the tune of N14 trillion.”
Asked how the projects would be funded, he said: “By the mechanism of funding, by the ingenuity of our President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we are sure of funding of about N5.1 trillion, leaving N6 trillion gaps. And this N6 trillion funding gap is as May 29, 2023.”