June 11, 2024

Phase 1 Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road’ll be ready by 2025 – Umahi

Phase 1 Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road’ll be ready by 2025 – Umahi

Minister of Works, David Umahi

… project now six lanes 

… says over 80 per cent of 330 emergency projects worth N260bn have been completed 

… Over 90% of new projects are N/Assembly constituency projects 

By John Alechenu Abuja

The Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi, has said the first phase of on-going work on the Lagos-Calabar Super Highway will be ready for commissioning by May 2025. 

He announced this at a meeting with contractors at the Ministry’s headquarters in Mabushi, Abuja, yesterday. 

According to him, the Federal Government has paid N10bn as compensation for communities and individuals along the road corridor affected by the project. 

The minister also commended the contractor handling the project for the quality of work and the fact that he accepted the new realignment without demanding for veriation of the contract sum. 

Umahi expressed the Tinubu administration’s displeasure with the panchant by contractors handling federal road projects to demand for veriation as soon as contracts are signed. 

He said, “The ministry is doing everything possible to see how we can do away with veriation of price. In the states, there is nothing like variation of price, but what is fashionable in the Ministry of Works is variation of price.

“Let me announce that the concrete we gave, the asphalt we gave are based on a price of N1,700 per $1 US dollar; it don’t attract any variation.”

Umahi explained that the President Bola Tinubu-led Renewed Hope administration was determined to complete ongoing projects, hence very few new projects. 

“Even the legacy project, the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, we have cut down to six lanes. The project has not been stopped. 

“It is going on smoothly. The first phase of this project should be ready for commissioning by May 2025.

“It shows that we mean business. As we are taking now, over 4 kilometers of concrete road has been completed. And where you have MTN and African cable, we saved the community and the cables. 

“We had to reroute to establish a new pathway away from the old route and the gazetted route. We’ve paid compensation of almost N10bn.”

He also said, “Over 90 percent of the new projects in the 2024 budget are constituency projects of the National Assembly. 

“These constituency projects have very poor (funding) allocations in the 2024 budget, and that is why I say it is a parliative budget. 

“The budget is, (however) also very useful because a chain is as strong as it’s weakest link. If you have a beautiful road and it is broken into two by a flood, what do you do?

“That is where the budget provision or emergency project will come in handy. 

“We have 330 (emergency) projects, and as at today, we have completed over 80 per cent. We’ve completed some bridges.”

The minister also announced that the Federal Executive Council has agreed that some projects that do not have funding will be stepped down for those that have the greatest impact on the lives of a greater number of Nigerians. 

He noted that most of the road projects being executed by this administration are investments in which Nigerians will enjoy a return on investment.

Umahi further stated that foreign investors will also bring in funds and expertise for the benefit of the country. 

On the Abuja-Kano road project, Umahi announced that work would resume “this week.”

He explained that the ministry has resolved outstanding issues it had with Julius Berger, the contractor handling sections of the road project.