The House committee on works led by its Chairman Hon. Engr. Abubakar Kabir has deried the poor funding of the Abuja, Keffi, Makurdi dualisation project, while charging the contractor China Harbour on quality.
Hon Abubakar stated this while leading his committee on oversight on the road project.
The 220km Abuja, Keffi, Makurdi dualization is financed with Chinese counterpart funding of 85%( amounting to 460,822,440.20) while the Nigerian government is contributing 15% (amounting to 81,321,607.09) bringing the total contract sum to over $530m.
The project is divided into two components which are the addition of two lanes on the existing dual carriage from Kugbo in Abuja to the border of Nassarawa state, which is about 5.2 kilometers and the addition of another carriageway to the existing keffi- Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi road which is about 221.8km long.
The committee chairman decried the inadequate release of counterpart funds for the project noting that it was a major problem for the timely completion of the road.
“We asked them about their challenges and concerns, one of which was funding for the project and budgetary allocation. But last year, we provided a lot of funding for this project and the new budget is coming in the next few weeks”.
Speaking in the same vein the project manager, Mr. Li Qiang Qiang, said the contractor was doing its best to ensure timely completion of the road and employed the FG government to release its counterpart funding for the project.
“this project has been ongoing on for 3years, we have a plan in place and we want to finish this project next year. Currently we are preparing for the funding to ensure processing and successful completion of the work.
“We are processing the budget and compensation issues, we have completed around 72% but our payment is 60%. The project is very long, that is why it is very important for us to get a budget each year so that the program can move accordingly”.
Addressing the ‘failed portions’ of the road, he expressed sadness and promised the problems would be rectified “I’m sad to see these sections, the failures should not be happening because we followed the procedures and specifications. We need to go back and analyze what happened with the road, in my opinion the water level of the area is too high”.
He assured that all concerns would be rectified before the road is handed over to the FG.
On completion the road is expected to last for 15 years before requiring maintenance.