By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja approved N8.2billion for the completion and construction of roads across the country.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed at the end of the meeting, said two of the approvals were to revise the estimates of cost to enable contractors continue work.
He said the Council approved N519 million revision of contract sum of Oba – Nnewi – Okigwe road to cater for changes in cost of materials as the project was awarded in 2009.
Fashola revealed that the contract sum was revised from N3.7billion to N4.3billion.
“The Ministry of Works and Housing presented four memorandum today and two of them were for approval to revise estimates of costs so that the contractors can continue works.
“So, the first that falls in that category of revision of estimates is the Oba – Nnewi -Okigwe road.
“So, the Council approved a revision of N519million to cater for changes in the cost of materials and all of that since the project was awarded in 2009 – so that the project can be completed.
“So, the contract sum has been revised from N3.7 to 4.3billion,’’ he said.
According to the minister, the second contract that has a revision of estimate is that of the 67 kilometers Alace – Ugep road in Cross River.
He disclosed that the council approved a revision from N9.16 billion to 11.22billion, saying the revised cost was N2.052billion.
“Council approved the change of contractor for the Chachangi bridge linking Takum and Wukari in Taraba State and rewarded at the cost of N2.132 billion.
“Council also approved Katsina Ala bridge at the cost of N3.576 billion, which include total bridge repairs, changing of expansion joints, changing of bearings and rehabilitation of the 3.2 kilometers access road at Ugbema junction in Benue State,’’ he added.
Responding to a question on the poor state of roads in the country against series of approvals by the Council, Fashola identified budget funding gaps as factor responsible for the inability of the ministry to complete some road projects in the country in the last four years.
According to him, his office is yet to get fund since his reappointment as minister as there are still paper work processes going on.
Fashola also attributed the delay in the completion of the road projects to unnecessary harassment and demand for payment of compensation by benefiting communities.(NAN)