The Federal Ministry of Works and the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) have agreed to collaborate in the area of road construction and management in the interest of the development of the road sector in the country.
Director, Information of the Ministry, Olusola Abiola disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.
Abiola said, the Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi announced the collaboration when the Executives of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering led by the President, Engr. (Prof.) Azikiwe Onwualu paid him a courtesy visit today in his office in Abuja.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Yakubu Kofarmata, welcomed the collaboration with the Academy of Engineering stating, “we have the same goal that will foster a strong collaboration and that is to have a better Nigeria. We would like to create a virile nation for the upcoming younger generation that is far better than we have met it. So we need this collaboration”.
While thanking the delegation for their commendation, Engr. Umahi said the performance of the Ministry was informed by the charge of President Tinubu to the effect that Nigerians must get value for money by ensuring that good and quality roads are constructed across the country.
“Mr. President, after the swearing-in of newly appointed ministers, charged the Honourable Minister of Works to ensure that not only Trunk A roads, but all federal roads are motorable and safe”, he further stated.
On the malpractices by some Engineers in the construction industry, the Minister disclosed that, “coming on board, we discovered that there were a lot of malpractices. One discovers that a road which is constructed in other parts of the world, which will last 30 or 40 years, is not so in Nigeria. In Nigeria, it lasts at least 2 or 3 years”.
He observed that though the engineering methods were not different, yet the results were not the same. This, he said was as a result of some malpractices carried out by the contractors.
The Minister however pledged to continue to deliver on President Tinubu’s mandate by ensuring that all roads are constructed to specifications and safe.
“This will ensure that the Renewed Hope Agenda of the Federal Government is not only sustained, it would be seen to be working for Nigerians who deserve to reap the benefits of democracy.
“I want to use this opportunity to also urge the President of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering and its Executives to always talk to engineers at every forum. Please, talk to the engineers to have the country’s interest is put first. It must be Nigeria first before any other thing.
He emphasised that, “If the engineers insist that the right thing is done, the contractors must comply and then we will have a better Nigeria.
“The mutual working relationship advocated by the President of the Nigerian Academy of Engineers cannot come at a better time than now. I want to assure you that our doors are open. Mr. President and other members of the academy”.
Earlier, the President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Engr. Prof. Azikiwe Onwualu, in his remarks, thanked President Bola Tinubu for appointing Sen. Umahi, an engineer to run the Ministry.
“While congratulating the Minister, he affirmed, “we are glad that he is running it very well. We have seen in recent months the excellent work the Honorable Minister is doing to rehabilitate the roads, and even to build new ones”.
Prof. Onwualu also said that the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) was seeking a partnership with the Ministry of Works on capacity building, technical advisory services, and policy formulation and implementation
Speaking further, he
advised the Honorable Minister to sustain the current tempo of road construction and maintenance until all federal roads are completed.
In the delegation of NAE to the Ministry were Engr. K. A. Ali, Engr Prof. A.Bello, Engr. Dr. Gina Ihekwene and Dr. Emeka Uwanaka.