UMAHI SUSPENDS PAYMENT, GIVES CONTRACTORS 7 DAYS TO RETURN TO SITE

REPORTER: CHRISTIAN NWANGENE

The Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, has suspended payments to some contractors handling federal road projects in Enugu due to cost issues and method of construction.

The Minister, who gave the directive after inspecting some ongoing construction and rehabilitation of federal roads across states in the South-East, equally gave seven days to others to return to sites or have their contracts suspended.

Senator Umahi commended the quality of work done on some of the roads in Enugu, emphasing that he stopped certain payments until contractors, and the ministry reviewed the existing contracts and additional works.

He said, henceforth, every project should have separate engineer for effective monitoring, supervision and compliance.

The Minister, who expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of work done on Mmaku-Nenwenta-Nkw-Ezere road, in Agwu Local Government Area, directed the contractors to return to site to correct some issues raised.

The Minister explained that Nigerian roads failed because of bad asphalt placed on them as a result of adulterated bitumen imported into the country.

He expressed dismay that four bridges and three kilometers of additional work would cost N15 billion.

He directed that the right-hand side of the Enugu-Onitsha expressway be done with concrete to save costs.

The Minister of Works, said the Federal Government was not backing down
on concrete road construction, insisting that it was safer, cheaper and durable.

The Minister said government was committed to having sustainable road projects.

The inspection took the Minister to more than six road projects going in Enugu State, including Ozalla-Akpugo-Amangunze-Isu Onicha and the Enugu-Onitsha roads with a spur to Onunwere in Enugu State as well as the rehabilitation of the Old Enugu- Onitsha road.

Others are 9th Mile- Opi Junction (39.6km),
Enugu Onitsha Expressway (1.1km) and Nsukka-Ikem Eha-Amufu road.

EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU

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