By Tony Nyong
Huge sums of money that could have been used to actualise more people-oriented programs in Nigeria would continue to be spent annually on road maintenance, if government failed to adopt new technology in road construc-tion.
The African representative of Rehau, a German company which specialises in producing road reinforcementÂ products, Dr Francis E. Ngwenadayo, gave this verdict while interacting with journalists in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
He lamentedÂ that Nigeria and most countries in Africa were in perpetual slavery of avoidable road maintenance expenditure.
Ngwenadayo, who is the Managing Director of Afrik Euro Link (AEL) with the soleÂ franchise to market a reinforcement material known as Armapal, said his company was in Nigeria to introduce aÂ product capable of making roads endure for as long as 50 years.
He said the product, when properly laid before asphalting a road, couldÂ extend the life span of buildings, to put an end to incessant cases of building collapse.
Though he said the material, which is a by-product of crude oil could be used on any road, Ngwenadayo, emphasised that it was best applied on roads constructed on difficult terrains of the Niger Delta.
â€œWe have already trained officers of federal roads maintenance agency (FERMA); so they know how to take care of Armapal. Ferma is the first user of Armapal in Nigeria,â€ he said.
He alleged that foreign construction companies in Nigeria were aware of the existence of Armapal but had refused to apply it in road construction so that they would perpetually remain in business of fleecing the country.
He also alleged that some companies had imported fake emulsion which could reduce the durabilityÂ of roads, so government could continue to patronise them, condemning the use of such fake emulsion products in the country.
Ngwenadayo said hisÂ company was working with other German companies to bring in genuine emulsion, so that the positive effects of armapal could be felt in the country.
He said Armapal had already been used for Nairobi International Airport and YaoundÃ©-Douala highway, adding that such places had never experienced cracks onÂ their roads and airports.
He said arrangement had been concluded for a seminar on the use of Armapal to be mounted for engineers and ministries of worksâ€™ official in the country.