Road contractors using asphalt must sign 30 years indemnity agreement — Umahi

The Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, says contractors using asphalt in road construction must sign an indemnity agreement of 30 years duration of the roads with the ministry.

He said this on Monday in Abuja at a news conference to unfold the general direction of the ministry during his tenure.

Umahi said contractors using asphalt would not be stopped, but must sign the durability agreement

The Minister, however, said construction of concrete roads would not be enforced on projects awarded already.

He added that contractors would need to give assurance that roads built with asphalt would last up to 30 years though the concrete roads would last longer.

Umahi said: “We are not stopping asphalt works, but it is not possible to be paying for the job that we know will not stand for five years.

“Contractors hide under the funny excuse of overloading for roads not standing long.

“Nigeria must get value for their money paid as tax.

“Enough of contractors doing shady work and getting paid for it.

“The concrete road when properly done will last for 50 years and we have success where we have done that apart from the one I did in Ebonyi.

“In fact before I left office, we delivered Abakaliki Ridgeway Road, which was funded by the African Development Bank.”


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Speaking on funding for roads, Umahi, however, noted with concern that the way Nigeria’s budgetary allocation was designed was not encouraging for contractors to timely complete federal road projects.

Umahi said the release of funds to contractors on an annual basis made road projects linger as in most cases the contractors accessed little from funds to purchase the raw  materials.

He said that the delay further gave rise to contract variation as inflation affect the original amount agreed for the project.

He said: “When you give a contractor N150 million a year for a N600 million road project, he will pocket it while mobilising to site without doing anything on ground.

“When confronted, he will say he is yet to get the material he requested for outside the country as the money was not enough.”

He appealed to the National Assembly to release over N650 billion it withheld for some  projects across the country, which he said were almost complete, but lack of the fund is still keeping the contractors on site.

He said if these funds were not returned, the roads will not be completed and this, according to him, have negative economic impact.

The Minister advised that members of the National Assembly who were representatives of different Senatorial Districts should meet with their state governors and determine priority projects that could be completed in time.

He advocated that to curb the instances of kidnapping of citizens along the highways, economic trees and cash crops needed to be planted on road corridors to prevent the menace.

Umahi said: “Nigerians must get value for their taxes.

“Road is everything.

“Where we are having kidnapping is on the spot where roads are bad.

“We should remove the bushes and plant cash crop.

“It is ideal and acceptable and we should replicate it in all parts of the country. 

“It will remove the kidnappings.”

Umahi added that the ministry would review the operations of the Federal Road Management Agency to ensure that any intervention in states would be done with the input of the state government.

According to him, this would determine the priority areas of the state governments.

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