The Federal Government is investing N16.6 billion of the N100 billion Sukuk Bond for rehabilitation of some roads in the South East geopolitical zone.
Newsmen report that the Federal Government had in October, 2017 released the proceeds of the N100 billion Sukuk bond to 25 key economic road projects across the country.
The Director of Highways, South East, Federal Ministry of Works, Mr Adetokunbo Sogbesan, made the disclosure in Enugu on Wednesday during a media tour of ongoing federal projects in the zone.
Sogbesan said that the investment was aimed at improving road infrastructure in the zone, adding that four different road sections were covered by the fund.
He listed the sections to include the Enugu – Onitsha expressway, Enugu – Lokpanta, Lokpanta – Abia Tower and Abia Tower – Aba section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt expressway.
At the 9th Mile – Enugu section of the Enugu – Onitsha Expressway, Sogbesan expressed satisfaction on the job done so far by the contractors, Reynolds Construction Company Ltd. (RCC).
He said the project which covered a distance of 58km was from Amansea in Anambra to Enugu.
“Forty kilometres of the road is in Anambra while 18km is in Enugu section of the road. The contractors have achieved about 35 per cent completion of the project,” he said.
He said that with the quality of job being done by the contractors, the road would make its expected lifespan of between 20 years and 30 years.
Sogbesan, however, expressed concern on the heavy traffic flow on the road.
“I pray we get more funding so as to deliver this project at the right time. This project will improve transportation infrastructure.
“The micro-economy impact of this road will go a long way to help Nigerians,” he said.
Also, the Federal Controller of Works, Enugu, Mr Oluropo Oyetade, said that monitoring of the project had been encouraging since the contractors reported to site.
Oyetade said that the contract with a completion period of 36 months was awarded in 2014 but was not funded till 2017.
He said that the job was expected to be delivered by December 2019.
The Acting Project Manager, Mr Italy Zohar said that the project started in 2017 after their mobilisation.
Zohar said that the contractors had complied with the relevant provisions on local contents as it affected the project.
He said that a total of 650 Nigerian workers were engaged on the site with five local engenders and five expatriates.
He said that no fewer than 6772 tons of bitumen, 12 tons of cement, 230 tons of rods and 775,000 cubic metres of gravels had been utilised on the project.
Also, the Chairman of Enugu branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr Ifeanyi Ofili, commended President Muhammad Buhari on his insistence on the utilisation of local content.
Ofili said that such directive was an encouragement to Nigerian engineers and materials.
“From what we have seen on site, the contractors have complied with local content. So far, the quality of the road is good and we believe it is up to standard,” he said.
He appealed to the Federal Government to fund the project to ensure early completion.