By Favour Nnabugwu
The Federal Government has approved the use of water to mix bitumen for construction companies in the country instead of the usual practice of using kerosene to mix bitumen for surface dressing of roads. The use of kerosine to mix bitumen has been fingered as one of the major causes kerosene scarcity in the country.
Works Minister, Mr. Mike Onolememen who disclosed this at a five-day workshop on quality control for Federal highway projects organized by the Department of Material, Geotechnics and Quality Control, MGQC in Abuja, said the ministry has accepted the use of water in place of kerosene as recommended by the quality control department.
He explained that the Ministry has taken step to address road construction problems. This necessitated the creation of a full pledged department of Material Geotechnics and Quality Controll with the main responsibility of advising on, closely monitoring and ensuring that materials used in the construction of Federal roads are of the highest economically feasible quality and meet necessary standards specified for them.
The approval of water to mix bitumen for road construction, the minister explained, is economical and will avail the country more kerosene for domestic use by Nigerians.
Onelememen who was represented by Mr. Sunday Atane, an Engineer and Director Highway, said the Ministry has established laboratories in Sheda, Abuja, Lagos, Jos, Owerri, Kaduna whilst Maiduguri and Benin city offices are almost completed to ensure that materials used for constructions of roads are up to standards.
Also speaking, Mallam Bukar Goni Aji, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, urged participants at the workshop to update themselves in all aspects of quality control in order to effectively carry out the necessary tests and procedures and ensure that construction companies use standard materials for road projects in the country