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Phase l Suleja-Minna dualization reaches 80% completion – Perm Sec

NAN

The dualization of the Suleja -Minna road phase 1 has reached over 80 per cent completion, says the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH), Mr. Babangida Hussaini.

Hussaini said this at the routine inspection of the dualization of the Suleja-Minna road phase I and II on Wednesday in Minna, Niger state.

He was represented at the inspection by Mr. Funso Adebiyi, Director, Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, FMWH.

His team was led by Mr. Felix Umeh, Federal Controller of Works, and Niger.

According to Hussaini, the exercise is routine inspection of the projection establish to some quality assurance, measures as well as methods  used.

“So far so good, Suleja Minna is about 95km road. It was a one lane carriage way but the traffic necessitated it to be increased to dual carriage.

“The first phase is to construct additional lane to the existing lane. They have made significant progress of phase one, it has attained 80 per cent.

“The phase II now is to construct the second lane to 95km also rehabilitate the old alignment, so that the old and the new will have the same infrastructural integrity to withstand the strength of time.

“That one also is making significant progress you saw us checking out the temperature at the point of placement and saw that it was at about 160 degree Celsius even the stone base is being placed at layers of not more than 100mm

Hussaini said that he was satisfied with the work done and hoped it would be completed before the rains come down

He said that the phase I of the road was expected to be completed before the end of 2021 and the phase II by the end of 2022.

Speaking on on the feasibility of the construction meeting up with the time line, the official said that construction work must be done with quality assurance taking precedence.

On the socio-economic importance of the road, the permanent secretary said the road was not just of economic importance but serves other purposes.

“This road is not just of serious economic importance as you see the NNPC deport here but it is also a link to a trunk A roads.

“Earlier it was a busy roads in Nigeria because it was a major link from South to North before Abuja came about.

“Even at that the axel load here is quite heavy because of the movement of petroleum product, farming, and other commercial activities.”

Hussaini explaining further on the dualisation said  the old alignment had been used for over 40 years and the level of deterioration was beginning to show.

“if you want to construct a new lane it is just normal to reconstruct the old lane so that you end up having two brand new lanes and we are doing this across the nation.

“Also to be constructed are three river bridges,. two interchanges at Dikko and Maji and hydraulic structures,* he said.

Speaking on the challenges faced in the process of the construction, he said they were there to solve the issues.

“There are challenges that is why we are here, if the road was good we won’t be here and we are facing it and succeeding but one of principal challenges we face is because the budgetary allocation is not enough for it.

“So the government in its own wisdom has designed alternative sources of funding one of it is tax relief scheme, sukuk fund which is a kind of loan.

“They are channeled to address all these infrastructure works   to make them available for the Nigerian people to use.

“We  also have World Bank assisted, African Development Bank assisted but I can assure you we are still sourcing for more funds because road construction anywhere in the world  is an expensive venture.”

Also speaking, the representative of the contraction company, Salini Nigeria Limited, Mr Daniel Kassa,  said the company hoped to complete the work on schedule.

He, however, noted that some challenges faced at the site included trucks and trailers packing on Lanbata and along km 4 and some relocation issues round the interchanges of Maji and Diko, he added that they hope to finish before the rains come.

The News Agency of Nigeria (‘NAN) reports that construction work on  the Suleja-Minna road commenced Dec. 13, 2010 with a contract sum of N9,951,051,335.18.

NAN also reports that commuters commend the government for dualising the road and making usage less stressful and enjoyable (NAN)

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