By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N38.4 billion for the completion of inherited road projects in five states of the country.
This was made known by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, at the end of the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
According to Mr Fashola, all the projects were inherited from previous administrations.
“They are not new projects, they are projects that we inherited and we are trying to complete. So, essentially they relate to cost revision because of the ages of the contracts and the prices of goods that have changed,” the Minister, a former Governor of Lagos State, told reporters.
He said the old road projects are located in Anambra, Imo, Bayelsa, Nasarawa and Benue States.
The first project was the contract for a 13.5-kilometre offshoot of road from Onitsha to Owerri road through Okija to Ihembosi and Ugbor to Ezinifite in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The Minister recalled that the contract was awarded in 2011 “but wasn’t funded until this administration came in so the contractor is asking us to revise the contract by a review of N488,980,891 and an additional completion period of six months and the council approved that review of price and the extended completion period.”
He said the second contract was for the completion of a 20-kilometre road in Bayelsa State, which was awarded in December 2014 on the eve of the tenure of the last administration and couldn’t take off because of violence issues at the time and also very limited budget provisions.
“It is one of the contracts that we have since activated with the Sukuk Bond. So, the dualization is progressing but there is some additional work that needs to be done. There are also results of further investigations that support a revision of the contract by N7.947 billion and this was approved by the council,” Mr Fashola confirmed.
The third contract was for the completion of a road linking Nasarawa and Benue States in Central Nigeria, a 74-kilometre Nasarawa to Loko road, which was awarded, in 2006 and is yet to be completed.
The Minister added that the road is set to be completed by 2022 and would save travel time for its users, especially those travelling from Otukpo in Benue state to Abuja.