The Federal Government says the N621 billion Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) tax intervention for road construction, is ensuring speedy realisation of the completion of the Suleja-Bida and Lambata-Bida roads.
The Director, Highways Construction and Rehabilitation, Mr. Folorunso Esan, said this at the inspection of the dualisation of the Suleja-Bida Phase I and II roads on Friday, in Niger.
Esan said the construction of the road was going quite well with the financing by the NNPC intervention.
The Suleja-Minna road is being handled by Mr. Salini Nigeria Limited. It is one of our NNPC finance projects and we are here to see how they have improved on mobilisation.
The initial target for completion was January 2024 but it may not be that now because we have overcome the challenges of funding.
The money is available and the contractor is ready. The contract started since 2016 though we have section 1 that started since 2011 and the second II started in 2016,” he said.
Speaking on the pace of work the Project Coordinator, Salini Nig. Ltd, Mr. Gennaro D’itrae, said the road would be completed in good time because funding was no longer an issue.
He added that they had been mobilise fully and were working to ensure they deliver the road on target.
The project consists of the Dualisation of 40km of the Suleja-Minna road with origin at Diko Junction on Kaduna-Abuja expressway terminating at Bonu village.
It also consists of two twin flyover bridges at Diko and Maje Junctions and three river crossing bridges.
Esan said that the constructed 46 km Lambata-Bida road handled by China Global Construction Company (CGC) was still under the NNPC funding.
So, this road will finish in good time and we are expecting that before the raining season may be by June, all the trouble spot will be addressed.
The truck drivers and the tankers should exercise patience. And from what you can see now there is still enormous work to do and we cannot finish in May but we are looking at the end of the year also,” he said.
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The controller FMWH, Niger State, Mr. Moshood Samotu, said that the road had been done up to 46 km which amounted to 36 per cent of work done.
He commended the accelerated work on the 60 km Lambata – Lapai road.
Responding to the ongoing construction of the roads, many tanker drivers commended the Federal Government for embarking on the project which will alleviate the suffering of the motorists.
A tanker driver, Mr. Idris Haruna, was full of praise for the government saying that finally the hardship they face on the road would soon come to an end.
Another tanker driver, Mr. Suleiman Nasir, said that if the contractors continued with the pace of work, soon the road would be finished and the states connected to it would experience speedy growth in their economy.
The Lambata-Lapai-Bida road is 124.81 km long. It has 7.3 metre carriage way and 2.75 metre surface dress shoulder.(NAN)