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Umahi commits to delivering Abuja-Kaduna road project in 2024

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The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, says that the Federal  Government is committed to delivering the uncompleted section of the Abuja-Kaduna before the end of the year.
Umahi made this commitment in a meeting with all directors of the ministry on Thursday in Abuja, adding that all obstacles hindering the delivery would be addressed to ensure actualisation of the project for the benefit of Nigerians before the end of 2024.
According to the former Ebonyi State governor, the contractors have requested a review of the price to N1.35 trillion to finance the project.
“We have about 1.7 kilometers left of Abuja-Kaduna in two sections. The ministry has some supervision work to be done on that road and we will be advised on the real designs of the two sections.
“Funding is also an issue because it is under the presidential development fund initiative gotten from looted funds. I have had to discuss with Mr president about the importance of the road for all users
“But I won’t be able to go back to him until we re-scope it because the project was N165 billion before and a review brought the cost to N655 billion but today the contractor is asking for N1.35 trillion and the government cannot afford it.
“What they are asking for is very wrong. We are looking at existing sub-grade and see what we can do about it.
“We are also looking at the first 40km to be constructed by Dangote under the Tax credit scheme to do it on concrete pavement but I am very committed to completing that road this year. No matter what happens, that road will be done this year,” he said.
The reconstruction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, currently handled by Julius Berger, is funded under the Presidential Development fund initiatives and is divided into three sections.
Concerning non performing contractors in the Highway Development Management Initiative with private sector, Umahi said government was poised to review all contracts that were not seriously being done.
He said the cost, scope and technicalities of the contracts would be reviewed by the end of January.
Umahi said he had asked for 5 per cent equity contribution or guarantee from the contractors so that he would have the assurance of the commitment of those that are serious to work.
Speaking on keys areas of focus of the ministry, he said that if the ministry is given N892 billion to carry out its operations, no money would be left unutilised by December 2024.
“It means commitment and it will be properly utilised, it will be transparent for everybody to see.
“And the end of the transparency is in the quality of the roads, the length of the roads and how much it costs.”

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