The rains will soon be here and the federal government seems worried. They have thus taken some action, but would it make any difference?
The Federal Government on Monday gave a marching order to contractors handing the construction of Benin-Ehor- Auchi dual carriage way to make it motorable for users during this year raining season.
Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works and housing handed down the directive to the contractors in Benin City while speaking with the management of Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) during a tour of Highway projects in the South-South Geo-political zone.
Fashola who decried the agonies road users had while plying the road during the last year raining season, noted that the works so far done by the company will be a nullity if the road users are not getting the desire comfort.
“I know there is still a lot of works to be done here. You are aware that this road gives Edo people some difficulties during the last year raining season. I told your management that while they are doing the construction which is ongoing, you must prepare for the raining season.
“Even if it one section of the carriageway it must be motorable in this raining season. The people must enjoy the comfort of the raining season.
‘You must adhere to this instruction. You must ensure that what happened during the last year raining season does not repeat itself.
“If you are constructing a road, all the good works you have done means nothing when people are stucked in a particular place because of bad road during raining season.
“So, this must not happen again. Any particular bad section must be made motorable. This is my directive, otherwise, all the beautiful works you have done on this road means nothing to the road users. What is important to me is bad spot even if it just a kilometre.
“So, you can drive 60 to 80 kilometres but that one kilometre can be a point of agony. So, it is that bad spot of agony that I want you to take away. So, make sure it is done”,he said.
The minister said the directive was against the backdrop of poor drainage system which made some section of the highway not motorable especially Ekpoma, Obadan junction, Urhokuosa community among others.
He assured that the federal government will ensure that the road is motorable to users as well as reduce road accidents.
While explaining the level of works done so far, Naer Narkisi, project manager, Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) said a total of 50.97 percent of the road project has been completed, adding that extensive work has been done since the last raining season to make the road more motorable.
Narkisi, said the contract was initially awarded December 13, 2012 and work commenced December 24, 2012.
He added that the contract sum of the job was N35.25billion, total area of work done was N7.96billion while the outstanding payment was N2.01billion.
He also added that the initial duration of the contract was 32 months and revised to 72 months project which was from December 23, 2015 to December 22, 2018.
Narkisi, further added that between 2017 and 2018 the sum of N7billion SUKUK payment was made.
He said the company has four expatriate staff, 404 permanent staff and 2020 indirect staff.
Earlier, the who also make a stop over at the ongoing National Housing Program near Benin City urged the contractors to finish the work within the stipulated period.
He also urged the supervising officers to take ownership of the project by ensuring that it is completed on time.
In her remarks, Ebemeata Ani-Otoihibi told the minister that the only work left to be done was the Condominium and the road networks.