President Bola Tinubu has ordered for a massive fixing and rehabilitation of dilapidated federal roads nationwide.
The Minister for Works, Dave Umahi stated this in a personal statement posted on his X (formerly Twitter) account on Monday.
OSUN DEFENDER reports that the roads include the Makurdi-Nsukka 9th Mile, East West road, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Benin bypass, collapsed bridges of Enugu-Port Harcourt road, collapsed bridges of Shandam-Plateau, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano and Gombe- Bauchi roads, among others.
Umahi noted that despite inheriting N6 trillion deficit in road infrastructure, President Tinubu is determined to confront the challenges.
He said besides practical steps taken since the assumption of office in May, the President has approved a 2023 supplementary budget of N300 billion for the Ministry of Works.
This comprises N100 billion for immediate palliative works in 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and N200 billion for the continuation of critical road projects.
According to him, the President urged the public to track the projects and give appropriate feedback to the government.
The government urged Nigerians to report any road that is poorly constructed anywhere in the country.
They are to send photographs of the road, location and name of the contractor to 08030986263, 08037086137 and 08106423197.
Umahi 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 N6 trillion from most of the inherited on-going road projects.
“Mr. President has since reeled out plans of commitment, consistency, and innovations towards actualising a sustainable road infrastructure development throughout the country.”
Umahi said the President has directed that the palliative works must commence before Friday.
Calling for support, the minister said: “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.
“The Federal Ministry of Works will document such complaints sent by Nigerians, verify and take effective action to correct such infractions.
“The Federal Ministry of Works shall also periodically recognise 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.”
On concrete road criticisms, the minister said: “Those who are complaining and demarketing this policy are simply those who do not wish Nigeria well.
“They are the same people that use adulterated bitumen in their projects while putting pressure on our Naira through the importation of adulterated bitumen instead of developing our abundant God-given bitumen deposits in Ondo State and other parts of Nigeria.
“Insofar as this new policy has not violated any law, the Federal Ministry of Works is forging ahead with this new policy.
“As of today, most of the ongoing projects are with asphalt pavement in line with this new policy while some are redesigned on concrete pavement, depending on the terrain and with a full understanding of the affected contractors of those projects.”
While warning contractors handling Federal Government road projects to adhere strictly to the new road policies, Umahi said the government would not tolerate a breach of contract.
Sodiq Lawal is a passionate and dedicated journalist with a knack for uncovering captivating stories in the bustling metropolis of Osun State and Nigeria at large. He has a versatile reporting style, covering a wide range of topics, from politics , campus, and social issues to arts and culture, seeking impact in all facets of the society.