President Bola Tinubu has ordered a massive rehabilitation of dilapidated roads across the country, it emerged on Monday.
The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi said President Tinubu is aware of the state of the Nigerian road infrastructure which he inherited on May 29, 2023, saying that he has directed that rehabilitation work commence immediately on the roads for easier and smoother movement of men and goods to save quality man hour lost to the poor state of the roads.
Some of the roads include the Makurdi-Nsukka 9th Mile Road, East West Road, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Benin bypass road, collapsed bridges of Enugu- Port Harcourt road, collapsed bridges of Shandam-Plateau State, Abuja-Kaduna- Zaria-Kano road and Gombe- Bauchi among several others.
Umahi, in a statement on Monday noted that despite inheriting N6 trillion deficit in road infrastructure, President Tinubu is not complaining but rather determined to confront the challenge headlong.
He said besides practical steps taken since assumption of office in May, President Tinubu has approved a 2023 Supplementary budget of ₦300b for the Ministry of Works comprising ₦100b for immediate palliative works in 36 States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and ₦200b for continuation of most of the inherited ongoing projects and very few new but critical road projects.
According to him, the President has not only given specific directives to the Ministry on how to accomplish the execution of the project within the given time frame, but he has also encouraged the public to perform their civic responsibility by following their money through supervision of the projects with appropriate feedback to the government.
He said: “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 of 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 which he has started to do not minding the debt burden inherited especially the funding gap of over ₦6 trillion from most of the inherited on-going road projects.
“Mr. President has since reeled out plans of commitment, consistence, and innovations towards actualizing a sustainable road infrastructure development throughout the country.
“He has just approved a 2023 Supplementary budget of ₦300B for the Ministry of Works comprising of ₦100B for immediate palliative works in 36 States and FCT and ₦200B for the continuation of most of the inherited ongoing projects and very few new but critical road projects.
“Mr. President has directed that works in those palliative projects must commence before 1st December 2023, while observing all due process.
“On the sections being frequently complained of by the public in all regions of the North and South of the country, Mr. President has equally isolated them and directed immediate actions on them and indeed work has started on all such roads”.
Ushering in a new era of innovative road construction, Umahi is enlisting the public’s help, urging Nigerians to actively participate in supervising projects and providing constructive feedback, saying, “The public can crosscheck our claims and report back to us
“The engagements of the Federal Ministry of Works will not be limited to these isolatedly reported cases but shall be holistic in our approach through these approved palliative measures and the interventions of FERMA in all the 36 States and FCT also.
“The public is hereby requested to assist the Federal Ministry of Works and FERMA by supervising the contractors that will be engaged in these palliative works and indeed all ongoing projects of the Federal Ministry of Works and FERMA.
“It is the right of every Nigerian to have value for their money deployed to the road infrastructure sector and therefore must show both interest and passion in all the ongoing projects by the Federal Ministry of Works and FERMA, and indeed all projects of the Federal, State and Local governments.
“All poorly constructed roads should be photographed and reported immediately to the following contacts:
08030986263, 08037086137, or 08106423197; showing the name of the contractor, the location and type of contract and defects observed.
“The Federal Ministry of Works will document such reports, verify and take effective action to correct such infractions.
“The Federal Ministry of Works shall also periodically recognize publicly those who made such reports that are genuine in a public engagement forum to be hosted quarterly by
the Federal Ministry of Works and will sanction such erring contractors publicly too”.
Saying that the Ministry is gearing up for a revolutionary change in project supervision, effective December 1, 2023, the Minister warned, “All concerned are HEREBY put on NOTICE as the Ministry will not spare anyone found culpable in his or her assignment.
“The Director of Works of the 36 States and FCT and FERMA have been directed to audit all projects in their States and FCT especially equipment on and off sites with their pictures, personnel of contractors, status of all projects including financial status (contract sum, date of award, period of construction and time table, amount paid, challenges, % of work completion, augmentation of project if any, VOP claims etc).
“This assignment must be completed before 30th November 2023. Note that this directive was given since the past two months”.
Umahi, commending President Tinubu’s purposeful leadership, assured Nigerians of the Ministry’s unwavering commitment to delivering on its mandate. “On the part of the staff of the Federal Ministry of Works, I pledge to strictly and Godly follow the divine Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President,” he added, promising continued support for the President’s efforts in road infrastructure development.