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HomeLatestRespite As FEC Approves N759bn For Obajana–Benin, Isheri-Ogun Roads

Respite As FEC Approves N759bn For Obajana–Benin, Isheri-Ogun Roads

Lucky Obukohwo, Reporting

Respite has come the way of Nigerians as the Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Bola Tinubu has approved N759 billion for the Obajana-Benin Road and the Isheri-Ogun Road.

Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, who briefed alongside his colleagues said the council approved additional N757 billion as augmentation for the dualization of the 489km Obajana-Benin Road, N2.23 billion for the Isheri-Ogun Road and N114 billion for Outer Marina shoreline protection.

He explained, “Today we’ve got augmentation approved for Obajana in Lokoja to Benin Road, a total of 244km and 489km dualized.

“Recall that in 2012, this project was awarded to four contractors: CGC, Mothercat, Dantata & Sawoe and RCC at a total cost of N122 billion, and that was for light rehabilitation.

“Around 2018, the past administration reviewed the project and dualized it and that’s why you have a total of 489km and then now got ‘No Objection’ from BPP.

“When I came on board in August, we were supposed to present the no-objection to FEC in line with due process and we decided to review the project, one, to determine whether the dualization was desirable in view of the economic challenges and two, to see the texture of the soil and what to do.

“So we had to restore the project now, but we didn’t increase the cost. We got approval for argumentation from N122 billion to N897 billion.

“The contractors were off-site because they would not be working and they would not be paid based on the new basic rate. So we got them back to the site and Today we got approval.”

Umahi said the Council also approved N2.23 billion for the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency for the rehabilitation of the road from Isheri North to Ogun state.

“Now, under FERMA, we got approval for the construction of Isheri north, Lagos route, which is to connect Ogun state.

“This is an alternative route to Lagos – Shagamu Road and we’re going to toll this Lagos-Shagamu when completed. But by law, you only toll a federal road when you have an alternative.

“This approval of about N2.23 billion to connect Isheri North to Ogun state. It is a breakthrough that has freed the Lagos-Shagamu for tolling,” Umahi said.

Explaining the Council’s approval for the N114 billion Outer Marina shoreline protection, Umahi said, “The shore protection was done over 50 years back with sheet piles and we had to take the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, on a tour with Julius Berger through the entire shoreline of 3.92km.

“We took the tour with Julius Berger, CCECC, CBC and BuildWell, and demanded for them to inspect and then give us their proposal. Only BuildWell and CCECC brought their proposals.

“Whereas CCECC was quoting on 3.2km at N134 billion, BuildWell was quoting on 3.9km at N114 billion.

“We sent the two to BPP and BPP found merit in BuildWell because of cost and, of course latest technology in doing shore protection using interlocking concrete, which will not be subject to rusting. So we got approval for Build Well in the sum up N114 billion.”

The minister speaking on the shoreline protection project, said it was necessary given its proximity to the recently inaugurated Red Line and other existing structures in the area.

He maintained that his ministry sought to leverage the low-water levels of the dry season to drive piles down the shore.

Umahi on Wednesday explained that contrary to the beliefs, the rising cost of production was responsible for the recent cement price hike, and not its concrete road policy.

He added that his insistence on concrete roads will not phase out traditional asphalt roads as it was only an alternative for sites with high water tables and poor conditions.

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