Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fury over East – West Road (2)

9 February 2012

BRIEFING State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Labaran Maku, Minister of Information, who was joined by Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs said those who designed the initial project failed to take into account the difficult terrain of the region and that for the project to meet the required standard, government had to review the entire road structure.

Consequently, he said the ministry had to take the project into the drawing board again for the redesign of the shoulders and the width to meet the required standard and it is expected to be completed by 2013.

Maku stated further that there was hardly any road or dam project that you give at the beginning that would not end up in review, adding that when the project was awarded in 2006, the cost by the original contractor, Julius Berger, was so much that government refused to touch it.

He explained that the dualization of the project “is a landmark intervention of the Federal Government on infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.”

The minister said: “The augmentation of the project became imperative to adequately complete East-West road project, which by its location in the oil industry zone, is an emerging heavily trafficked road in Nigeria which calls for a stable road pavement that is less prone to frequent failure and disruption of traffic flow.”

In attempt to justify the huge augmentation of the project, Kuchi said work would have stopped on the project by the end of August 2011 had the FEC not approved the request for the N106 billion augmentation of the project.

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