The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Mohammed Bello, has given an assurance that the 13.25-kilometre Apo-Karshi road will be completed and opened for public use before the beginning of this year’s rainy season.
The minister gave the assurance on Wednesday while fielding questions from State House reporters after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
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The road, whose contract was first awarded in 2011 to Kakatar Engineering Limited, a company owned by Azibaola Robert, a cousin of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was designed to ease the gridlock at the AYA-Nyanya-Mararaba section of the Abuja-Keffi road that links the Abuja metropolis with some densely populated satellite towns including Karshi, and neighbouring Nasarawa State.
The award of the contract by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in 2011 was for a sum of N6.4 billion (N6,355,609,124.53).
The scope of the contract was to include site clearance and earthworks; construction of culverts (pipe and box) of various sizes; drainages; construction of two bridges of 3-span (45m) and 5-span (75m); rehabilitation of one bridge; as well as pavement and surfacing.
Bello, while speaking on the delay in the completion of the project, attributed it to an error of design whereby, a huge rock outcrop on the alignment of the road.
When told that commuters faced daily gridlock on Abuja-Keffi road due to the delay in completion, the minister said the initial challenges encountered by the project contractor had been surmounted, adding that work is at an advanced stage.
He said: “The Karshi-Apo road is a project that should have been delivered by now.
“One of the main challenges faced in that road has to do with an error in the design whereby, a huge rock outcrop on the alignment of the road corridor became very difficult to be able to arrange.
“But we are very happy to say that it is now almost taken care of.
“I believe within a few months time hopefully before the onset of the rains this year, that road would be opened.
“Already, a portion of that road which links Tundun Wada on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway via old and new Karshi is now very motorable because of the bridge constructed there by the Ecological Fund, which was commissioned about a month ago.
“I believe this road would help on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway particularly the portion from the military formation right to Nyanya, which I’m sure you aware the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing are working on.
“It’s been widened and all the alignment for the road proper have been graded.”
Pegi road too
Bello, while speaking on the demonstration over insecurity and incessant abduction by Pegi community in Kuje Area Council of the FCT, said the situation was being looked into with a view to addressing them.
He expressed the commitment of the FCT administration to the completion of the 14 km Pegi-Kuje road project awarded to Verallen Nigeria Ltd.
He said: “On the demonstration by Pegi community over insecurity, all the insecurity concerns were raised at the FCT security council meeting on Tuesday.
“We are focusing on three things – vandalism, cultism and drug abuse and communal clashes.
“We have looked at them and we are working on them.”
The minister also blamed lack of funds for the non-completion of the road leading to the resettlement area in Pegi.
He said: “The road in Kuje leading to the resettlement centre has been affected by budgetary constraints, especially as you know 2020 was a difficult year for everybody particularly in terms of our ability to fund our projects.
“But I hope in 2021, based on what we have in the budget, we will work as much as possible to see that this project is completed. After all, it’s just 14 kilometres.”