- The attention of the Federal Ministry of Works has been drawn to the concerns of the public on the deplorable situations of some sections of the Federal roads throughout the Federation as reported in many media platforms, especially social media, the front page, pages 4,5,6 and 14 of the publication of Sun Newspaper of 26th November, 2023. Most of the sections of the roads frequently reported but definitely not exhaustive are: the Makurdi-Nsukka 9th Mile Road, East West Road, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Benin bypass road, collapsed bridges of Enugu- Port Harcourt road, collapsed bridges of Shandam-Plateau State, Abuja-Kaduna- Zaria-Kano road and Gombe- Bauchi etc.
- The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Senator Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR is aware of the state of our road infrastructure which he inherited on the 29th day of May 2023. Without prejudice to all the good efforts of the past administration on road infrastructure development which they tackled within the limit of their resources, the work to be done to change the ugly state of our roads is quite enormous.
- Mr. President is not complaining of the challenges he inherited in nearly all sectors of the economy, especially as it concerns our road infrastructure, but he is quite courageous as he had promised to tackle the problems head-on which he has started to do not minding the debt burden inherited especially the funding gap of over Six Trillion Naira (₦6T) from most of the inherited on-going road projects.
- Mr. President has since reeled out plans of commitment, consistence, and innovations towards actualizing a sustainable road infrastructure development throughout the country. He has just approved a 2023 Supplementary budget of Three Hundred Billion Naira (₦300B) for the Ministry of Works comprising of One Hundred Billion Naira (₦100B) for immediate palliative works in 36 States and FCT and Two Hundred Billion Naira (₦200B) for continuation of most of the inherited ongoing projects and very few new but critical road projects.
- Mr. President has directed that works in those palliative projects must commence before 1st December 2023, while observing all due process. On the sections being frequently complained of by the public in all regions of the North and South of the country, Mr. President has equally isolated them and directed immediate actions on them and indeed work has started on all such roads. The public can crosscheck our claims and report back to us
- The engagements of the Federal Ministry of Works will not be limited to these isolatedly reported cases but shall be holistic in our approach through these approved palliative measures and the interventions of FERMA in all the 36 States and FCT also.
- The public is hereby requested to assist the Federal Ministry of Works and FERMA by supervising the contractors that will be engaged in these palliative works and indeed all ongoing projects of the Federal Ministry of Works and FERMA. It is the right of every Nigerian to have value for their money deployed to the road infrastructure sector and therefore must show both interest and passion in all the ongoing projects by the Federal Ministry of Works and FERMA, and indeed all projects of the Federal, State and Local governments. All poorly constructed roads should be photographed and reported immediately to the following contacts:
08030986263, 08037086137, or 08106423197; showing the name of the contractor, the location and type of contract and defects observed. The Federal Ministry of Works will document such reports, verify and take effective action to correct such infractions. The Federal Ministry of Works shall also periodically recognize publicly those who made such reports that are genuine in a public engagement forum to be hosted quarterly by
the Federal Ministry of Works and will sanction such erring contractors publicly too.
- THE USE OF ASPHALT AND CONCRETE PAVEMENT IN ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
a. The Federal Ministry of Works is shocked to observe the various acts of darkening counsel without knowledge on the position of the Ministry on the use of asphalt and concrete pavement in the development of our road infrastructure by people who have vowed not to release their hands off the brake of our road infrastructure development just for their selfish gains.
b. The Federal Ministry of Works has at no time banned the use of asphalt or directed that concrete pavement shall be the only means of road pavement structure. For the avoidance of doubt, the new policy of the Federal Ministry of Works is simply put as follows:
i. contractors for all the ongoing projects are simply requested to have a choice to continue to use asphalt or have their projects redesigned on concrete at no extra cost to government following the underlisted conditions:
ii. Use of asphalt: contractors shall stick to only 5% Variation On Price (VOP) in line with the signed contract agreement throughout the period of the project and the signed contract shall not be subject to review especially on bituminous items.
iii. The thickness of the asphalt pavement as designed must be strictly adhered to by all such contractors and the design shelf life for the asphalt (at least 15 years) shall be guaranteed by issuing an insurance bond through a reputable insurance company in favour of the Federal Government. This is in line with Article 2 of the signed contract and clause 51 of the general conditions of contract (which is part of the documents forming the signed contract with contractors which authorize the client through the Engineer to change the scope of the work, the quantity of the work, the quality of the work as the client may deem fit at any time etc.) for all the ongoing projects. These directives to the contractors do not in any way violate the Federal Ministry of Works’ signed agreement with the contractors.
iv. For the use of concrete, contractors must abide by the 5% VOP and 50 years design shelf life using concrete grade 40.
c. Those who are complaining and demarketing this policy are simply those who do not wish Nigeria well and they are the same people that use adulterated bitumen in their projects while putting pressure on our Naira through the importation of adulterated bitumen instead of developing our abundant God given bitumen deposits in Ogun State and other parts of Nigeria. Insofar as this new policy has not violated any law, the Federal Ministry of Works is forging ahead with this new policy. As at today, most of the ongoing projects are still ongoing with asphalt pavement in line with this new policy while some are redesigned on concrete pavement, depending on the terrain and with full understanding of the affected contractors of those projects.
- The Federal Ministry of Works is very concerned with the supervision of our projects and effective 1st of December 2023, there will be a revolution in the ways and methods the Federal Ministry of Works supervises her projects nationwide. All concerned are HEREBY put on NOTICE as the Ministry will not spare anyone found culpable in his or her assignment.
- The Director of Works of the 36 States and FCT and FERMA have been directed to audit all projects in their States and FCT especially equipment on and off sites with their pictures, personnel of contractors, status of all projects including financial status (contract sum, date of award, period of construction and time table, amount paid, challenges, % of work completion, augmentation of project if any, VOP claims etc). This assignment must be completed before 30th November 2023. Note that this directive was given since the past two months.
- The Federal Ministry of Works wishes to thank Mr. President for his directive that all inherited projects from the past administration be continued while he makes frantic efforts to source for funds for the completion of these ongoing projects and the critical new ones within his 1st 4 years of his Divine 8 years of purposeful and fruitful divine administration through the power of God who divinely brought him to leadership at this critical moment of our Nation’s history..
- On the part of the staff of the Federal Ministry of Works, I pledge to strictly and Godly follow the divine Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President, and God willing, we shall continue to support Mr. President and deepen the good efforts of Mr. President in all our road infrastructure development.
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H. E. Sen. (Engr.) Nweze David Umahi, CON, FNSE, FNATE