Tinubu Inherited N6trn Debt On Ongoing Road Projects – Umahi
The Minister of Works, David Umahi, on Monday, said that president Bola Tinubu inherited N6 trillion debt on ongoing road projects from the past administration.
Umahi noted that the administration of Tinubu is faced with huge work on road infrastructure, adding that the Makurdi-Nsukka 9th Mile Road, East West Road, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Benin bypass, collapsed bridges of the Enugu-Port Harcourt road and Shendam, Plateau state, among others, have drawn Tinubu’s attention.
The minister of works also revealed that Tinubu has approved a 2023 supplementary budget of N300 billion for the ministry of works, comprising N100 billion for immediate palliative works in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and N200 billion for continuation of most of the inherited ongoing projects and a few new but critical road projects
In his words;
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is aware of the state of our road infrastructure which he inherited on the May 29, 2023. Without prejudice to all the good efforts of the past administration on road infrastructure development which they tackled within the limit of their resources, the work to be done to change the ugly state of our roads is quite enormous.
“ Mr. President is not complaining about the challenges he inherited in nearly all sectors of the economy, especially as it concerns our road infrastructure, but he is quite courageous as he had promised to tackle the problems head-on.
“This, he has started to do, not minding the debt burden inherited, especially the funding gap of over N6 trillion from most of the inherited ongoing road projects.
“He has since reeled out plans of commitment and innovations towards actualising a sustainable road infrastructure development throughout the country.
“He has just approved a 2023 supplementary budget of N300 billion for the ministry of works, comprising N100 billion for immediate palliative works in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and N200 billion for continuation of most of the inherited ongoing projects and a few new but critical road projects,” the minister stated.
In addition, he said that the president had directed that works on the palliative projects must commence before December 1, 2023, even while observing all due processes.
He stated that on the sections being frequently complained of by the public in all regions of the country, the president has equally isolated them and directed immediate actions on them, with work having started.
The minister stressed that engagements of the ministry will not be limited to the reported cases, but that they shall be holistic in approach through approved measures and the interventions of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
He urged the public to assist the ministry and FERMA by reporting the contractors on poorly constructed roads, which should be photographed and reported immediately to some phone numbers he released.
Meanwhile, the minister has said that he was shocked to observe the various misrepresentation of the position of the ministry on the use of asphalt and concrete pavement in the development of roads infrastructure in the country.
“The federal ministry of works has at no time banned the use of asphalt or directed that concrete pavement shall be the only means of road pavement structure,” he said.
However, he stated that the position was that contractors on ongoing projects were requested to have a choice to continue to use asphalt or have their projects redesigned on concrete at no extra cost to government.
On use of asphalt, he stressed that the rule is that contractors shall stick to only 5 per cent Variation on Price (VoP) in line with the signed contract agreement, while the thickness of the asphalt pavement as designed must be strictly adhered to and must last at least 15 years.
For the use of concrete, he said that contractors must abide by the 5 per cent VoP and 50 years design shelf life using “concrete grade 40.”
“ Those who are complaining and de-marketing this policy are simply those who do not wish Nigeria well and they are the same people that use adulterated bitumen in their projects, while putting pressure on our naira through the importation of adulterated bitumen instead of developing our abundant God-given bitumen deposits in Ogun state and other parts of Nigeria.
“Insofar as this new policy has not violated any law, the federal ministry of works is forging ahead with this new policy,” he stated.