Senator David Umahi, the Minister of Works, has issued a 14-day ultimatum to contractors responsible for federal highway construction, demanding that they promptly deploy their personnel and equipment to the work site or face contract termination. This stern warning was delivered during a meeting with all contractors engaged in federal road projects in Abuja.
The minister cautioned that any contractor failing to adhere to this directive and meet the specified deadline would be dismissed and replaced by other contractors. Furthermore, Umahi urged the contractors to cease any actions that might hinder the government’s concrete technology adoption in lieu of asphalt.
Emphasizing the importance of concrete roads, he referred to an instance where President Muhammadu Buhari himself oversaw the construction of a concrete road in Lagos, a fact pointed out to him just the day before. Umahi expressed confidence in gaining public support for the transition to concrete technology, emphasizing the necessity for guaranteed quality when using asphalt.
To ensure quality road construction, the minister established new requirements for construction equipment, mandating that, for every 30 kilometers of road, there must be a minimum of eight sets of equipment, including two graders, four excavators, 20 trailers, and other relevant machinery to facilitate active site operations. He reiterated his commitment to advancing the concrete technology plan and affirmed that it would persist unless he was removed from office.
Umahi also vowed to crack down on contractors who compromise the government and the public by using substandard asphalt and additives, instead urging the use of internationally accepted asphalt standards.
He emphasized that no amount of opposition would deter the Ministry of Works from its policy direction and principles, which have been put into action and will only be altered if the President removes him from his ministerial position. Additionally, he mentioned that recent discussions resulted in an approved price increase, although this adjustment applies exclusively to Trunk A, with Trunk B and C projects following distinct designs and cost considerations.