Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The 22nd virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved the sum of N87.538 billion for the construction of roads that cover the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oyo, Kwara, Nasarawa, and Benue States.
The FCT Minister, Muhammed Bello, while briefing State House State House Correspondents, said the contract for the roads in the territory was awarded to Messrs Gilmor Engineering Nig. Ltd, at the sum of N30,686,609,298.68 with a completion period of 32 months.
Bello said the council approved the award of contract for the full scope development of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Way to the Northern Express Way (Murtala Mohammed Way) popularly known as Kubwa Expressway.
He said the project area is within Phase II of the Federal Capital City (FCC), serving as boundary road between the adjoining districts of Mabushi, Kado, Katampe and Jabi.
Bello said the project would improve access to the above-mentioned districts, improve security, and provide both skilled and unskilled employment.
He added that the road project would further enhance overall decongestion of traffic in phases I, II, III, IV of the Federal Capital City.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on his part said his ministry presented two memoranda to further showcase the commitment and policy direction to complete ongoing and existing projects.
Fashola said the council approved a variation of N47.504 billion for the completion of the 52 kilometers-Oyo-Ogbomosho highway which is a part of the Ilorin-Ibadan 145 kilometres highway.
The minister said the variation had increased the total contract to N105.041 billion.
He said: “We needed to adjust some things in the scope of work, the thickness of the pavement from 500mm to 560mm to also change the asphalt to polymer-modified bitumen and also the shoulders from surface dressing to fully asphalted inside and outside shoulder.
“So, all these required changes in prices of N47.504 billion….
“This was the revision that we presented which council approved. This road was awarded in 2010. As I said, sections 1 and 3 were completed. We are trying to complete section 2 which we also inherited.”
Fashola said the council also approved a N9.348 billion variation to complete Lokko-Oweto Bridge that links Nasarawa to Benue State, adding that the development has changed contract price from N51.621 billion to N60.961 billion.
He said: “The second similar project high we are trying complete is the Lokko-Oweto Bridge. That is the bridge across the River Benue that links Nasarawa and Benue states and provides a major time-saving detour, about four hours, for people trying to come from South-South, Benue, through to Nasarawa to Abuja.
“That project was awarded in 2011 and it was awarded in three different sections – one section, the road to Benue…to Oweto, was awarded to one contractor, we have completed that road. The bridge was awarded to another contractor, the bridge is essentially finished now. It’s open to traffic. And then, Lokko to Nasarawa, 74 kilometres was awarded to another contractor. We are trying to sort out that problem and we will come back to it.
“So, the approval given today was a N9.348 billion variation to complete the bridge component or remaining work on the bridge. If you go there now, it’s already opened to traffic, finishing and …work to link the existing road in the Benue side to the bridge is what we got this variation for.
“So, changes in contract price from N51.621 billion to N60.961 billion. As I said, even though we haven’t finished the roadside on the Nasarawa side, the commuters are already using the road because it provides a huge detour going through Lafia, Keffi to come to Nasarawa and to Abuja.”