By Perpetua Onuegbu
The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, says President Bola Tinubu has approved funds for the construction of the Second Niger Bridge Bypasses, Lagos-Ibadan highway and the Lafia Bypass.
Umahi said this on Thursday in Makurdi, during the inspection of the Lafia Bypass Road and dualisation of 9th Mile, Enugu-Otukpo-Makurdi Road Project.
The minister, who had earlier inspected the Mararaba-Keffi road expressed joy that Tinubu had released funds for the completion of the projects.
“This one is 260 kilometres and it is 229 kilo metre completed, some sections are not good and I have directed them to go back and work on the first five kilometres, but the rest are beautiful.
“I want to thank Mr President, who about three days ago, approved that work should immediately commence in many sections of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road.
“We were having some problems of funding but the president has solved the problem and directed for immediate release of funds so that the roads construction will continue.
“The same thing with the Lagos-Ibadan highway and the second Niger bridge two bypasses”, he said.
Umahi, however, said he would have preferred for the roads to be done cement concrete though they are being constructed with asphalt.
He commended the Benue and Enugu state governors for their efforts in ensuring that contractors worked seamlessly on the routes by providing security task force for their protection.
He assured that everything both governors asked for concerning the roads would be granted.
“The flyover you are requesting for, we are going to incorporate it. If you are building a road and the people are being inconvenienced or we finished it and it does not solve the problems, we have done nothing.
“So that flyover is very critical and it is very good that we are here. We have to do that because of the passion for your people and the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President.
“From the beginning of the road to here, it must be done on concrete. So anywhere we have bad terrain we will scope it for concrete.
“We will put the middle of the divide of the two carriageway at the middle of the existing route.
“So, we will minimise a lot of compensation. I will like to thank you and the Enugu State governor for setting up a taskforce to assist them in terms of security and other things.’’, he said.
He said the project was been financed by China Exim Bank, so the money was available and the project was in dollar, so it would not vary that much.
Reacting, Gov. Hyacinth Alia, who joined the minister in the inspection, said he was grateful to Tinubu for making the dream of the people of Benue come true.
“We are very grateful to God for giving us this opportunity. We have always prayed for a new Benue of our dream where anything we touched get a magnet efficiency, effectiveness and done.
“We are pleased that you are beginning the second phase of the Abuja-Keffi-Lafia 9th Mile Road. We are very excited that you have already incorporated the prayers we presented to you.
“We thank Mr President for his thoughtfulness and good heart for the common masses. He is someone who does not want to see people suffer.
“Formerly a journey from Abuja to Makurdi, is four and half hours but with this new road, it will takes us three hours.
“It is going to help our business and help us to plan ahead on plying on the route’’, he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 260 kilo metres project cuts across the Federal Capital Territory to Nasarawa, Benue and Enugu states.
It is jointly funded by the Export-Import Bank of Nigeria 85 per cent and 15 per cent by the Federal Government.
The project, which is being handled by China Harbour Nigeria Limited, is expected to be delivered in 48 months. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Deborah Coker/Uche Anunne