The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi has expressed displeasure over the quality of work done on some Federal Government owned projects along the Abuja -Lokoja Expressway.
Umahi, who addressed contractors on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja after inspecting the road the previous day also threatened to review the contracts on that Expressway, calling it a total failure.
The Minister, while stating that he was particularly peeved about the poorly constructed bridge on Section 4 of the project said, “yesterday I inspected about eight projects on Abuja-Lokoja roads and I was disappointed with what I saw.
“How can you collect money to do something and you didn’t do it right? Do people fear God at all? We must work do work for the people instead of ours”.
He asked the contractor handling the job if he would be happy to hear that the bridge he constructed claimed lives through accidents.
He further told the contractors that many of them would not like him and his style but he was only answerable to God and the President.
The Former Governor of Ebonyi State hinted that, if any contractor failed in one project, any other project he was handling across the country would be terminated.
Umahi said that he had come to the Ministry to work and explore all technological options that would make Nigerians have and enjoy new roads.
He said he had the mandate of the President to deliver on the road infrastructure in the country and therefore there shall be no sacred cow in pursuit of the project to make Nigerian roads motorable.
The Minister who fielded questions from contractors and journalists said he has God and the President as his godfather and therefore, while he was aware that many of the contractors had been recommended by very powerful people, such persons were not as powerful as God and the President.
He told contractors that he would be interrogating the jobs as he goes out to the field for project inspection.
According to him, “I have the mandate of the President to ensure that the roads are good for Nigerians to ply”.
Furthermore, he called on all contractors, especially the big construction companies to embrace concrete pavement for the construction of Nigerian roads as he argued that the technology offered the nation durable roads.
Meanwhile, they suggested a flyover on Koton karfe instead of a low bridge which could not solve the problem of flooding on the highway.
Umahi indicated that people living on the bank of the River Niger would be relocated to a place yet to be approved by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
At Ganaja Federal Road where Governor Yahaya Bello had done some landscaping, Umahi promised to take it from there so that the road which had become a nightmare to motorists from South East, South West, and South-South would have a relief.
Also, at Gito, the Minister frowned at the work done by the contractor, saying that some of the work had gulped billions of naira, yet some of them had no design.
To this effect, he threatened to review and relocate the Ministry’s highway controllers for approving poorly- constructed work.
Meanwhile, in Kogi Government House, the Governor noted that the people of Kogi had suffered from bad roads, both socially and economically:
“The condition of our Federal roads has been a source of great concern to our administration, the people of Kogi State, and Nigerians in general, owing to the fact that Kogi is geographically the connecting point between Northern and Southern Nigeria.
“The suffering endured by commuters, the negative impact on trade and economic activities, and the strain on our transportation system have not gone unnoticed. It is with this in mind that we extend our sincere appreciation to the Minister for not only acknowledging this plight but also for promising urgent interventions to alleviate the situation,” the Governor said.