From Jefferson Ibiwale, Benin
The Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, has announced Sunday that the East-west road would be completed before the end of this year.
Onolememen, who disclosed this during an interactive meeting with journalists in Benin-City, Edo State, said work on the road had reached 85 per cent completion.
He said the road which was awarded for construction since 2006 had been beset with a lot of challenges, explaining that mobilisation was not paid to the contracting firm to enable it move to site until 2008 and this contributed to slowing down the work.
According to the minister, only about 4,000 km of roads out of 35,000 km of roads owned by the federal government were in good condition as at 2010, but the government has in the last three years, built 25,000 km of roads made up of 62 road projects across the country.
Onolememen said the South-south, like other parts of the country, has benefited from President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda in projects such as construction of power stations, rail lines, maritime university, institute of construction technology and the oil and gas institute, among others.
Sections 1 and 2 of the East-west road were awarded to Setraco Nigeria Limited in 2006 at the cost of N138.7 billion, but the amount was later reviewed upwards to N245.7 billion.
A breakdown of the figure shows that Section 1 of the road was initially awarded for N64 billion, which later became N112 billion, following redesigns and insufficient materials from the bill of quantities.
Section 2 of the road had an original amount of N74.7 billion but had to be reviewed upwards to N133.7 billion; while the third section of the road, covering 99km, was awarded to Reynolds Construction Company, RCC, at the cost of N56 billion reviewed from an initial N44 billion.