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"Contractors who fail to fully mobilize and commence immediate accelerated rehabilitation works on the projects would have their contracts terminated and such contractors blacklisted." Umahi warns.

..... No contractor is being owed a kobo from Warri down to Kogi State. 

All the contractors handling the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi- Okpella-Okene-Lokoja road have issued marching orders by the Federal Goverment to, immediately, commence accelerated work on the rehabilitation of the roads or, face termination of their contracts. 

This directive was handed over to the contractors by the Minister of Works, David Umahi during his inspection visit to the various project sites in Edo State on 9th March 2024. 

The Minister, who disclosed that the Federal Government under the Renewed Hope administration of His Excellency, President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had released funds to the contractors handling the federal projects, warned that contractors who fail to fully mobilize and commence immediate accelerated rehabilitation works on the projects would have their contracts terminated and such contractors blacklisted.

Speaking after a meeting with the Governor of Edo State, His Excellency . Goodwin Obaseki, the Minister described as unacceptable, the delay of the contractors in fully mobilizing to site and effectively commencing rehabilitation work despite Mr. President's prompt release of funds to them for the projects. 

Reacting to the recent protest along the Jattu axis of the Benin-Auchi highway by the residents of the area, which disrupted vehicular movements, Engr Umahi stated that his meeting with the Governor was to brainstorm on the drastic measures to tackle the issues affecting the progress of work in the area.

"I have had a very serious meeting with the Governor here. We are concerned about what is happening between Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi- Okpella and the axis of Kogi State. That is what we have been brainstorming on. 

"I have worked with him throughout last night to direct that the road should be unblocked, and if you see the grievances of those people you will not blame them so much, because people are dying, trucks are falling."

On his part, the Governor thanked the Minister of Works for his deep sense of commitment to the development of road infrastructure in Nigeria. 

He assured of the unwavering support of his administration to the concrete technology initiative introduced by the Renewed Hope administration, which he said, was the best model for the road infrastructure along the East West and indeed parts of the country. 

"First, let me thank my brother and very good friend, the Honourable Minister of Works, who you know is an engineer par excellence, for the concern he has shown. Some time last year when I cried for help ahead of the rainy reason, we didn't get this kind of response." 

He harped on the need to remove encumbrances to the construction of enduring road infrastructure in Nigeria.

"We shall not continue to use expensive asphalt to do our roads. We should use sustainable local materials; we produce cement and steel, there is no reason why we can not begin to move towards utilizing more concrete in building our roads for sustainability so that our roads can last longer."

The Minister who also inspected the Lokoja-Benin Road Dualization Projects, section IV: Benin-Ehor road in Edo State handled by RCC Nig. Ltd; the section III: Ehor-Auchi in Edo State handled by Dantata & Sawoe Nig. Ltd; and the section II: Auchi-Okene in Edo/Kogi States handled by Mothercat Nig. Ltd, tasked them on the best standard and timely delivery of the  projects. 

He further moved to the spot where the residents were blocking vehicular movements and addressed them on the efforts of Mr. President in improving the condition of roads in the State.

"Mr. President has directed me to go round the entire 36 States and brief him on the state of the roads. No contractor is being owed a kobo from Warri down to Kogi State. We are re-addresing the situation here, you will see action from Monday."

This was contained in a statement issued and signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Honourable of Works, Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji and made available to Naij News Alert on Sunday 10, March 2024 in Abuja.

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