HomeNewsN300bn Saved As Minister Umahi Dumps Fashola’s Bypass Design On 2nd Niger...

N300bn Saved As Minister Umahi Dumps Fashola’s Bypass Design On 2nd Niger Bridge

…Says N18.6trn Needed For Roads In 4 years

Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi, has given an insight into how a last-minute decision to alter the initial design of the Second Niger Bridge bypass road, undertaken by his predecessor, Babatunde Fashola, saved N300bn of tax payers money.

Fashola had said that although the designs for the two bypasses in Asaba (Delta State) and Onitsha (Anambra State) were completed, they could be used to access the bridge until about N260 billion was used to build them.

Umahi spoke about the new cost-saving modifications during an inspection visit to the rehabilitation of Enugu- Port Harcourt dual carriageway Section IV (Aba-Port Harcourt) handled by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd( CCECC) on Sunday.

He said, “…And just only two days back, with these leaders, we went to Asaba to look at the design of the bypass of the second Niger bridge, and we went to Onitsha. And by that singular movement, we saw that the design was defective and we agreed on a new kind of design. That was how we saved the country over N300 billion by that singular movement to that location.”

This was contained in a statement signed by his Special Assistant (Media), Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji, in Abuja, on Monday.

The Minister also reiterated the commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to leaving behind a legacy of durable road infrastructure built at a cost to ensuring that tax payers get value for money spent.

He said the administration’s efforts were geared towards securing Nigeria’s future to guarantee her progressive march to economic prosperity.

According to him, the Renewed Hope administration of President Tinubu, “is commitment to building everlasting road infrastructure with the most effective design at the lowest possible cost.”

Orji said, “The Honourable Minister who was accompanied by a member of the Senate Commitee on Works and Deputy Chief Whip of the 10th Senate, and other leaders across political divide from South East said that some of the ideals in the Renewed Hope mantra under his Ministry include: design and cost effectiveness, speed and standard of job delivery as well as innovations that would guarantee zero maintenance and durability of road infrastructure in Nigeria.

“He urged contractors to always consider the sufferings of the road users as they set up their work plans.”

The Minister also enjoined contractors to ensure that the roads they are working on are made passable for commuters during the rainy season.

He expressed gratitude to the President for the enablement to change the narrative of the road infrastructure in Nigeria.

On the section being handled by CCECC, Umahi said, “We will not accept anything less than two to three sections working. And I’ve given seven days for this particular lane, that is, the upper bound lane to be totally repaired, to ameliorate the sufferings of the commuters. I feel for them very highly.

“When you go through this road, you now need to take a number of painkillers. It’s not desirable. So, I’m begging CCECC, the controller, and engineers to do everything possible in the next seven days and create a smooth sail on this right-hand side.

“I want to thank Mr. President, so much. He has done a lot in our road infrastructure.

“He’s a man who wants all the roads to be completed as soon as possible. But let me assure him that I’m doing the best that I can with the fear of God and with commitment to his Renewed Hope agenda, which we all embraced.”

The Minister who also visited the Upgrading of the 15km section of the East-West road section III: (Port Harcourt – Eleme Junction to Onne Junction in Rivers State) handled by RCC, the rehabilitation of Enugu- Port Harcourt Expressway Section 3, Enugu- Lokpanta handled by CGC and the rehabilitation work at the collapsed bridge site at the New Artisan Bridge near NNPC mega fillings station Enugu Capital City, Enugu State, expressed satisfaction with the job being done.

The Minister however charged contractors to step up their pace to cover a milestone ahead of the rainy season.

While speaking about the ongoing Eleme refinery road project, Umahi said,” We are upgrading the 15km road between Eleme flyover to Onne junction. We are starting with excavation to fill all the failed sections to make them stable. And when we get to where stable, we build up the boulders.

“After boulders, we put up sharp sand, and after the sharp sand, we compact. After the compaction, we put the first layer of stone base, 20cm first layer that will build up against another 10cm of stone base, we compact. After compacting, we leave it out for the traffic.

“So that it gets maximum compaction. After that, we put 10 cm with 5 percent cement to stabilize it and make it very strong. That will make the road very stable and it will last for a long time. “

Stakeholders from South East, who accompanied the Minister on the tour, expressed gratitude to the President for appointing “a round peg in a round hole”and for taking a bold and reassuring step to recover the economy of the country.

They enjoined Nigerians to continue to have faith in the Renewed Hope administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR.

The Deputy Chief Whip, Sen. Barr. Onyekachi Peter Nwaebonyi, who is also the Deputy Chairman Public Accounts and member, Works Commitee of the 10th Senate said, “This is what we were lacking before, like he said here, he is not an office Minister.

“He moves from site to site to ensure that the jobs are done according to specification. That is what we want in this country, and I want to commend Mr. President for finding him worthy. This is the very first time an expert is leading this ministry, and I want to assure Nigerians that very soon, they will see the difference in all our projects.”

Also speaking during the occasion, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and former Senate President, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON said, “I want to remind you that the day the Honourable Minister took oath of office, he had a reception and I chaired it and I reassured Nigerians that he would exceed their expectations.

“I think this trip is a follow-up to that assurance to satisfy myself that he’s actually exceeding expectations. And I can tell you that it’s amazing. His passion, his expertise impacts the design, the quality, the speed, the durability, and, in fact, impacts the style of project implementation.

“And for the two days we’ve been on the road, it’s been like never before. And I want to say that I am proud that he is exceeding expectations. And I want to say that I have been vindicated that the President did not make any mistake. Again, I want to reemphasize, like my brother, there is a case of square peg in a square hole. Thank you, Mr. President.”

In his remarks, the former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh said, “I want to state clearly, publicly what I have seen in the past two days.

“In the last two days, I have witnessed things that I never knew were possible on the issue of road construction in Nigeria, especially on these roads. I’ve gone with the Honorable Minister.

“I have seen, I’ve been satisfied. I feel that it is a question of a round peg in a round hole. Our request, Mr. President, is that the hope is real, and as long as the Minister is in charge, he’s being supported, he’s being funded,

“Mr. President is going to write his name in gold in the annals of our history for generations to come. This will be a reference point about what he has done on our roads in the entire country.

“It’s a legacy project for Nigerians. I want to state that the most important thing is not only the quality of the roads that we have seen but the fact that it’s being done with the lowest amount of money.

“What the Honourable Minister is saving the country, saving from the budget, saving the Nation on the instruction of Mr. President is unquantifiable.

“This is democracy in action. Mr. President, thank you so much. We thank Mr. President and we thank you, Mr. Honourable Minister.”


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