A Senior Project Manager in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr. Usoh Henry has said that the expansion of the 5.4 kilometers Abuja- Keffi expressway and the dualization of the 220 kilometers Keffi- Akwanga-Lafia- Makurdi Federal roads in the North- Central Geo-Political zone of the country would be completed in April of next year.
The development was contained in a statement issued by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Ms. Blessing Lere-Adams on Friday, September 23, 2022.
According to the statement, Engr. Usoh
made the disclosure when the House of Representatives Committee on Works inspected the roads.
It said, the purpose of the on the spot assessment by the Law makers was to ascertain the level of job done and the compliance level of the contractor handling the project.
The Committee was led on the inspection by the Chairman, Honourable Abubakar Kabir Abubakar. He explained that it was part of their responsibilities to carry out regular oversight functions on critical infrastructure projects of the Federal Government inorder to give value to the money spent on projects, pointing out that on this particular road project, government had spent billions of naira.
Speaking on the funding of the project, he confirmed that it was a joint funding arrangement between Nigeria and China. “The project is being executed by the China Harbour Engineering Company limited through a Preferential Buyer’s Credit loan from Export -Import Bank of China (CEXIM) with about Eight-five percent of the contract sum being from China and Nigeria is providing the other fifteen percent counterpart fund of the contract sum,” he said.
Taking the team on the tour of the project, the Chairman said that the project was very important as it connects the three states of Nasarawa, Benue and Enugu.
On the project performance he said: ” we have raised certain issues concerning some failed portions of the road and we have drawn the attention of the trio of the Consultant, Contractor and the Ministry to address all these issues. This, he assured “will help avoid compromising standards, ensure quality and also enhance timely delivery.”
Responding to the issue of the failed portion especially on the section ll of the project, the Ministry’s Project Implementation Unit: Road Sector Development Team led by the Senior Project Manager, Engr. Usoh Henry assured members of the Committee that urgent repairs were going to be carried out as soon as possible, since the Contractor had been notified of the failed portions.
Speaking further on the project, Engr. Usoh said that the project is about 75% completed and reassured members of the Committee that the project was going to be delivered by April, 2023.
According to him, the project was divided into two phases in order to ease its implementation. They were, Phase l; which is the dualization of Keffi- Akwanga- Lafia- Makurdi road and the Phase Il, the dualization of Makurdi-Otukpo- Obollo Afor-Enugu road.
Speaking about the quality of job done, Engr. Usoh said that the Contractor had been closely supervised as it was mandatory for all multi- laterally funded projects such as this road project.
He said that an Independent Consultant had been on site carrying out an unbiased supervision, monitoring and control of the project adding that the China EXIM Bank had also engaged its own Supervision Consultants to play their roles in accordance with International best Practices.