By Favour Nnabugwu
Federal government has commenced dualisation of the four sections of Lokoja-Benin road in parts to two companies at the sum of N22.7billion just as it flagged off the project.
Though, the entire projects comprise of four sections - Obajana Junction-Benin Section 1, Phase1: Obajana-Okene, Kogi State. C/NO. 6135, Benin Section II, Phase1: and Okene-Auchi, Kogi/Edo State. C/NO.6136 respectively, but the federal government awarded two of the sections- Obanjana-Okene and Okene-Auchi to CGC Nigeria Limited and Mothercat Nigeria Limited.
Whereas the entire four sections were initially awarded to Messrs Dantata & Sawoe construction company (Nig) Ltd, RCC Nigeria Ltd, Bullentine Construction Company (Nig) Ltd and Gitto Construzioni Generalli (Nig) Ltd in 2006.
The Minister of Works, Arc. Mike Onolememen during the flag off yesterday said the sections of the project which were at inception hampered by funds would be completed next year.
”These projects were constrained by inadequate budgetary provision which made project to linger until the establishment of SURE-P by Mr. Presdent in January 2012.
This action has injected the much needed funds required for the completion of the projects and I am optimistic that the four projects will be realized by March 2014″.
He said, “We are here today to witness once again, the fulfillment of Mr.President ,Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR economic transformation of the road sector in our country, s to be able to effectively oil the wheels of the nation’s economy”.
A breakdown of the two sections flagged off showed an estimation of N11.663 billion for Obajana to Okene while Okene to Auchi is put at N11.086 billion.
Onolememen noted that the dualisation of tuat road was in continuation of the on-going dualisation of part of the Route A2, Abuja-Lokoja, and a part of the fulfillment of the present administration of opening up the six-geopolitical zones of the country through motorable arterial roads.
The Minister stated , “In response to the yearnings of Nigerians for the complete dualization of the entire arterial Route A2 corridor, especially the outstanding section from Lokoja to Benin City, the cradle of civilization and a major traffic confluence town for vehicular traffic from South-West, South-East and Sout-South Zones of the Country, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) awarded Four (4) new Highway dualization of part of the Route A2, from Abuja to Lokoja”.
He however urged the two contractors handling the project to make use of local human resources, he appealed to the leaders of the two states, Kogi and Edo, to take possession of the project through effective supervision.
Commending theeffort of the federal government on the flagoff of the first section of the road, the governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, represented by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi, lauded the renewed commitment of the present administration to road infrastructure.
The governor remarked that good roads remain cardinal to the socio – economic well being of any society, once again called on the Federal Government to construct the Obajana-Ilorin road in view of its importance to the socio-economic development of the nation.