FG Fumes over Inflated Road Contracts, Bans Latrite for Construction

The Federal Government has expressed dissatisfaction with the level of inflated road contracts, warning that contract variation would no longer be handled mildly.
This was even as the government ordered contractors to discontinue the use of latrite in road construction since it is susceptible to erosion especially in areas with heavy rainfall.
The Minister of Works, Engr Dave Umahi issued the directive over the weekend at the inauguration of the committee for the supervision of the reconstruction of Benin-Warri dual carriageway and the dualisation of East–West Road, Port Harcourt in River State.
Umahi said that construction on Federal roads should consist of lumps, sharp sand and stone base in place of laterite.
He said since laterite has a limited load-bearing capacity and susceptible to weather, that it could lead to degradation of the road surface, maintenance challenge and does not last long.
The minister said: “We are giving very serious attention to the roads between Benin and Warri. The road between Eleme and Onne Port; we are mindful of the site conditions of these roads, the water conditions and the boreholes instead of potholes on these roads. No more laterite, contractors are now to use lumps, sharp sand and stone base in place of laterite.”
He directed the newly inaugurated Road Taskforce Team (RTT) to enforce continuous maintenance of all the roads under construction until the end of the project and ensure that the contractors are informed of the development.
Umahi recalled that President Bola Tinubu mandated the ministry to fix Nigerian roads for easy movement of people, products and services.
The minister stated that the committee must implement the contract agreement and emphasise more on maintenance, urging them to monitor the contractors for speedy execution of the projects.
Umahi informed that road infrastructure is one of the key factors for the revolution of commerce, education, security and power in Nigeria, stating that Mr. President is committed to dualisation of road projects.
He pointed out that the ministry is on a mission to uphold the renewed hope agenda of this administration towards the provision of road infrastructure.
The minister mandated the committee to supervise the contractors daily and ensure that they implement the new methods of roads construction, promising to penalise defaulting contractors.
Umahi enjoined contractors using asphalt pavement to ensure that their contracts are stable and sustainable, and could withstand harsh weather conditions.
He declared that the ministry would no longer appeal to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for increment in contract sum given the fluctuating price of bitumen, saying that the ministry would not exceed N6 trillion budget that was set aside for the completion of ongoing projects.

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