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UMAHI, STATE GOVERNMENTS IN JOINT INSPECTION OF FEDERAL ROADS IN EDO AND DELTA ...... Directs For COREN Registered Engineers With 15 Years Cognate Experience To Be On Site

..... As Community Groups, Commuters Laud Minister's Visit, Express Hope.

The Honourable Minister of Works, H.E. Sen (Engr) David Nweze Umahi, alongside the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief (Sir) Monday John Onyeme, the Commissioner for Roads and Bridges in Edo State, Osazemen Ethan Uzamere with some stakeholders, toured some ongoing road construction works in Edo and Delta States respectively on Monday.

During the joint inspection, the firm handling some of the Federal Government road projects linking Edo and Delta States in Benin; Levant Construction company were directed by the Minister of Works to do the maintainance work of the construction of Benin–Sapele road at night and that work should start immediately, while the bad spots should be made motorable within 30days.

Umahi said; “We have directed them to immediately maintain the road as we are redesigning the road irrespective of the fact that they have gotten advance payment. We are redesigning the road on concrete and we have agreed with the Commissioner of Works and Bridges in Edo State that the drains should be opened so that the water can go out in order for the contractor to maintain the road. I am giving the contractor 7days to come up with the new design so that we all look at it together.”

The Minister, during said the inspection tour, stated that he has looked at the road projects from Abuja to Benin City, saying; "the intention of the past administration all the way from Abuja to Benin City was very wonderful. I commend the initiative but Nigerians do not have value for all money spent on the roads. I was on the road for 14hours with all the securities attached to me and if I could be on the road for 14hours imagine what ordinary Nigerians are passing through without security. This is not acceptable."

"Unless we change our procurement process, this country cannot move forward and I am very happy that Mr President is a man of infrastructure. He is a man that knows how every aspect of this country will be reset and I am very happy about that and I will do everything within my power to support him,” Umahi told the stakeholders in the states.

“On the side of the contractors, there are no good intentions. They do not have enough personnel that are qualified. I have just directed that every project must have a Council for the Regualtion of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN )registered engineer to be the Project Manager for all contracts for every company on the road and the person must not have less than 15years on road construction.

"I have also directed that we shall no more do surface dressing on our road shoulders, I have directed that all projects must stop and be redesigned on concrete. The truth is that none of these roads that are built from Abuja to Benin will last more than 5years and that is very unfortunate. The roads are failing because most of the contractors do not do what is called penetration test. We also have adulterated bitumen as the bitumen imported into this country are adulterated. They should go to Ondo and Ogun State and develop our abundant bitumen there.

“We don’t want to put anybody out of business but we must develop our economy but they should employ our engineers; material engineers, geo technical engineers, surveyors, structural engineers and road engineers. Every project should not have less than seven professionals supervising it for Ministry of Works. We are going to reset our road construction so that the people can smile again under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the Minister reiterated.  

The Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief (Sir) Monday John Onyeme, at a press briefing with the Honourable Minister after the touring Benin-Sapele-Warri road, Sapele Roundabout, ongoing dualisation of Sapele-Ewu road, Sapele-Agbor road and Nigerian Port Authority roads in Delta State, thanked senator Umahi for personally coming out to see the state of things for himself.

He said; "I thank you for coming to see for yourself, the importance of caring to do these road. I do know that you have been tested and we have no fear that you will do it. We assure you of Delta State support and we will give you 100% cooperation.”

Earlier in Benin, a community group known as Sapele Road Bypass Axis Group, SARBAR through its Association General Secretary Pastor Moses Omo-Osagiede said; “We are happy with the visit of the Honourable Minister to Edo State on road inspection and we do hope that the maintenance work will be done quickly.” 

Similarly, a bus driver, Mr Emmanuel Felix who volunteered to speak on behalf of other drivers who ply Sapele Road Bypass Axis and the Benin–Sapele–Warri road regularly, said; “we hope with the inspection of the road by the Minister and this team, the contractor will do a good job and not their usual fake road works.”

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