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Asphalt laying by contractor resumes

"We remobilised to site since 19 June," Says Julius Berger

..... The globally acclaimed Julius Berger professional work will still be done here just as in everywhere we work.


Nigeria’s leading engineering construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc remobilised to its

Reconstruction work on the 163km Abuja-Kaduna-Zatia-Kano Road project has resumed on the project as a result security concerns as expressed by the by the Contractor; Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.

A report from the construction company reveals that it recommenced asphalt installation works on site sincee June 19, 2024. 

The statement reveal that Julius Berger had shut down last year following a force majeure it issued for reasons stated hereunder.

Speaking Thursday at the site where the laying of asphalt on the KM 163 of Section 1 of the Abuja – Kaduna highway, Goringora, the Site Manager, Mike Andrae confirmed that, “we remobilised to the site since mid-June.” 

Andrae, while reassuring Nigerians of the determination of the company to deliver the federal infrastructure as early as possible, declared that, we remain partners in progress with our client, the federal government and the operational communities, and indeed the country as a whole.

In the reconstruction of the ever-busy road, the Site Manager said there will be no lowering of standard adding that the globally acclaimed Julius Berger professional work will still be done here just as in everywhere we work.

On the process of remobilising to site, Andrae said it was completed since June 19, 2024 with the mobilisation of staff and equipment as well as heating up of bitumen. As for the Asphalt Binder Course, he disclosed that it started in CW26 on June 28, 2024.

On Thursday, it was observed that workers on site were engaged in their various roles to further the overall work specifications on the Iron Rollers machines, tyre Roller Machines and the Paver Machine all on KM 163. The laying of Asphalt went on smoothly even as the workers went about it professionally.

At the Km 130 Site Office, the same scenario played out as Workers were seen going about their respective duties. In the Bitumen and Asphalt Testing and Clearing Laboratories, activities went on as assigned staff were observed testing samples of Asphalt and Bitumen.

But in all these, there was palpable apprehension among the workers as they recalled the July 2, 2024 incident at Chainage 134, around Alheri Prayer Camp Village, along Kaduna-Abuja Express Road, Kaduna State, approximately 1.3 KM away from the express road, by the western part, close to OLAM Farms by 5 KM.

According to a security operative in the area, on that day, there was an incident of heavy exchange of gunshots, between some suspected bandits and the Nigerian Army.

The incident happened when the soldiers were carrying out their normal routine check/excavation of trench around the said area. Having gotten information about a possible bandit’s attack, hence the excavation, and the soldiers  were ambushed by the suspected bandits. As a result of the incident, five soldiers lost their lives, one gun truck was burnt, and their weapons carted away. 

The security operative was quick to say that the first thing the government needs for a thorough and successful job on the Abuja-Kaduna Road is to ensure the safety of the contractor as only with the completion of the road with no more portholes that require the people to slow down that the safety and security of travellers on the road will increase, and banditry will be drastically reduced.

When a force majeure was first declared by Julius Berger, insecurity considerations alongside other existential reasons including inadequate funding informed the decision.

A community leader in the Goringora axis of the road, Mallam Isa Birnin-Kudu, who was obviously a cheer leader in a group of excited residents of the area loudly spoke through an interpreter saying, we lost hope when there was no work going on on this road. But we knew there must have been something wrong. We thank God that the mighty Julius Berger is back.

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