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How FG revived work on Nigeria-Seme-Benin highway

…issues revocation notices to Mubi-Madagali contractors The Federal Government recently announced that it has approved the commencement of work on the section of the road…

  • …issues revocation notices to Mubi-Madagali contractors

The Federal Government recently announced that it has approved the commencement of work on the section of the road linking Nigeria with Seme on the border with Benin Republic.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, stated this at the 12th Ministerial Steering Committee and Experts Meeting for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Programme in Lome the Togolese capital. However, said the project would be done in a flexible way in order to improve commuter service while also making it adaptable to the results of feasibility and technical studies.

The minister, who is also chairman of the ministerial committee overseeing the project, expressed delight that while the personnel of presidents and ministers who launched the initiative have changed, the commitment to the project has not changed, adding that the committee had put in place a system where meetings were now held quarterly.

According to him, “From a period between 2013 – 2016 when no meetings were held because of changes in government and personnel, we have now put in place a system where meetings are held quarterly.” He said that this had enabled the committee to overcome the problems of signing treaties and loan agreements which dragged on for long.

He pointed out that feasibility, technical, financial and related contracts which seemed so far from conclusion have now also been signed. Fashola paid glowing tribute to the founding presidents of the committee for their vision of choosing “to go far as a team rather than going fast as individuals.”

“Going together, therefore, means working as partners, recognising and respecting each other’s sovereignty and governmental processes as well as diversity of languages,” the minister said.

Daily Trust reports that completion of the project will enhance the free movement of persons and goods in the region.

The Lagos-Badagry expressway which is the Nigerian section of the Trans-West African coastal highway, has been under a terrible condition from Mile 2, up to Badagry for many years, with motorists, pedestrians and people living around the area languishing in daily traffic jam.

While hosting the 9th Ministerial Steering Committee and Experts Meeting for the Corridor in Abuja last year, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo emphasized the importance of the project, describing it as a testimony to the strong relationship among countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Prof Osinbajo said although the principal stakeholders live in different countries, speak different languages and spend different national currencies with varied economies, they pursue common goals; making progress in the development of their countries and the sub-region and ensuring that all of their people enjoy ever increasing level of peace, prosperity and security.

Describing the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor project as one of the flagship projects of the entire ECOWAS enterprise, the vice president said, “We believe it would promote regional integration, enable tourism and other forms of economic activities in the sub-region and create the much needed jobs for our large youth population.”

Osinbajo said connecting West Africa by means of an efficient road network was one of the easiest and most direct ways of boosting local and international economies and by extension, the regional economies of the West African sub-region.

He said the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari was fully committed to the realisation of the project, adding that Nigeria’s recent ratification of the treaty on the project was a clear demonstration of that commitment.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has served a 14-day revocation ultimatum to the construction firm handling the Mubi-Michika-Madagali highway over the slow pace and poor quality of work on the project.

The Federal Controller of Works in Adamawa, Mr Salihu Abubakar, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola on Friday.

Abubakar said two other construction firms currently carrying out road projects in the state were also recommended to be served with revocation notice.

“Due to slow pace and low quality of the ongoing Maraba Mubi-Michika -Madagali Federal Highway construction being carried out by Ras Construction Company Nigeria Limited, the Federal Government on March 10, 2019, served the company a 14-day notice for the termination of the contract,” Abubakar said.

He said the road project was awarded in the first quarter of 2017 and has a total of 90 kilometres.

In addition, he said contract for two other road projects may also be terminated due to poor performance.

The controller listed the roads as Numan-Jalingo and Mubi-Maiha-Sarau with a distance of 103 and 38 kilometres, respectively.

He explained that there were six ongoing federal road projects in the state awarded in 2017, excluding Mubi-Maiha-Sarau road, which was awarded in 2015.

Abubakar stated that about N90 billion was earmarked for the six road projects.

He listed the projects to include Cham-Numan on Gombe-Yola federal highway and Numan-Jalingo road with a total of 103 and 46 kilometres respectively, being handled by CGC Nigeria Ltd.

Others are Yola-Hong-Mubi and Mayo Belwa-Jada-Ganye-Toungo federal highways being handled by AG Vision and Triacta Nigeria Limited with a total of 185 and 102 kilometres, respectively.

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