The House of Representatives Committee on Works has asked the Federal Ministry of Works, and the contractor handling the Abuja–Keffi–Lafia–Makurdi to ensure timely and quality delivery of the project.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Kabir Abubakar, stated this when he led members of the panel on an oversight tour to inspected the ongoing project, insisting that the job must be delivered according to the timeline of April 2023, with emphasis on quality of the job as specified in the contract which is at the cost about $542 million, counter-funded by the China Exim Bank, Chinese and the Nigerian governments.
The inspection tour which took off from the Kugbo end of the 4.5km reconstruction and expansion of the A-Y-A–Nyanya road, ending at the boundary between Abuja and Nasarawa State saw members of the Committee, asking critical questions on the design, quality of materials, the width of the lanes and shoulder, as well as the specified thickness of the road.
“There should be no compromise in terms of quality, standard and timely delivery. I said this because we made adequate budgetary provisions for this project in the 2022 appropriation, so there should be no excuse as to why the work would be delayed any further. The 2023 budget will come in any moment from now, and this oversight is necessary for us to know how, what was allocated last year was utilised for us to determine what’s needed and how to give approval,” the chairman said.
Responding to queries on why segments of the road were jumped over, Engr. Henry Usor, an official from the Road Sector Development Unit of the Federal Ministry of Works explained that compensation issues were responsible for such staggered execution, adding that the ministry only takes charge of portions on which compensations had been paid, and asked the contractor to commence work.
According to him, the project has an entire length of 454 km and is being handled by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), adding that 39km of ashfalt work has been achieved with a total work rate of 72 percent done. “The job would be completed in record time, going by the progress we have achieved so far. I believe we should be able to complete it by the time we come to the end of the project duration in April 2023,” Usor stated.
The Project Manager, Li Qaingqiang, also assured that the project would be completed in April 2023. “We are targeting to complete the project by April 2023 with sufficient budget allocation next year and we would ensure the road is in proper condition before it is handed over, ” he said.