President Bola Tinubu has approved more than 260 road repairs interventions across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The Minister of Works, Engr David Umahi, disclosed this on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while speaking with journalists after an audience with President Tinubu in his office.
The Minister, who further disclosed that the emergency repairs on the 260 roads nationwide will gulp about N217 billion, added that President Tinubu had approved more road construction works, including project upgrades.
According to the Minister, the President has also approved the resurfacing of the 3rd Mainland Bridge, construction of Lekki deep seaport road, re-construction of two collapsed bridges in Enugu and reconstruction of two locations on the Onitsha-Owerri Road.
Other roads approved for construction include the upgrading of the ongoing Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia road, dualization of the Lafia by-pass.
“I’ve always commended Mr President for his deep interest in reinstating most of our roads in the country. Everyday we get a lot of concerns from the public on the very deplorable situation of our roads, but there is no paper I brought in respect of that that Mr President has not approved.
“Just yesterday he approved over 260 road interventions across the 36 states and the FCT. You’ll recall that last week he approved a lot of emergency roads and bridges repairs; we have three bridges that collapsed on the Southwest roads, he approved for reconstruction immediately. We have the Shendam- Lafia that collapsed, we also have the approval for its repairs.
“We have about 17 points along the East-West Road that have been destroyed by flood, Mr President has approved and released money for the immediate repairs. Of course the Third Mainland Bridge’s resurfacing and repairs of some noticeable deflections, which have to be done under the deck on top of the water with equipments, he has also approved that.
“Two bridges that collapsed in Enugu, approved by Mr President; the two locations on the Onitsha-Owerri Road, Mr President approved the reconstruction; Lokoja-Abuja Road, Mr President approved the reconstruction.
“I can name them, apart from the 260 emergency repairs all over the country that worth about N217 billion, so I’m quite glad.
“This afternoon again, Mr President approved upgrading of the Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia Road, of course it’s ongoing, but it’s a PPP the Chinese and we’re paying 15%. Also the construction of the Lafia Bypass Dualisation from Makurdi, through Oturkpo, through Oboloafor, down to 9th Mile, it’s a major one, but Mr President has approved it. This is also being financed by the China EXIMBank, Lafia-Keffi Road is also financed by Chinese EXIMBank.
“Then the of 7th AXA Road, Lekki Deep Seaport (access), in Lagos. You know the Lagos State government is building the deep seaport, meaning that all the cargoes that cannot berth at the existing ports in Lagos can now come to that location and that’s where the Dangote Refinery is located.
“I saw thousands and thousands of well-established companies that are already installing their equipments there. It’s to be a huge free trade zone. So Mr President has approved that I should go ahead and sign MoU and that it should be programmed for priority in our business with the Chinese”, he said.
President Tinubu also approved the reconstitution of the Board of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), with the aim of speeding up the road maintenance nationwide.
“Let me also announced that Mr President approved the reconstitution of FERMA Board and this is very good for us, this is so that work can now get a bit more serious with FERMA in terms of very prompt maintenance of the roads” Uhahi disclosed.
When asked how soon Nigerians should expect to see mobilisation to site, Umahi said “said there’s a process; we’re doing the designs and procurement and selecting contractors to this. We’re calling some contractors that have existing projects within these locations.
“We’re getting selective renderings from the approval of BPP and these are the procedures. I’m sure with the onset of dry season from November, these works will get started and we’re going to put a lot of pressure on them for them to complete the works,” he said.