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Umahi: FG will complete construction of Benin-Lokoja road project within six months

Umahi: FG will complete construction of Benin-Lokoja road project within six months
March 22
09:25 2024

The federal government says the plans are in place to complete the construction of the Benin-Lokoja road project within six months.

David Umahi, minister of works, spoke on Thursday at a meeting with the project contractors in Abuja.

Umahi said the road project was awarded in 2012 but could not be completed, assuring that the federal government had devised a means to hasten the completion.

He said the federal government had agreed to BUA’s commitment to construct 30 kilometres of the road under the tax credit scheme after which a tax certificate would be awarded to the company.

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According to the minister, three other contractors would be mobilised for the construction of the remaining 30 kilometres.

“Four contractors will handle the four sections off the road,” he said.

“The first section from Lokoja is being handled by CGC, the second section is being handled by Mother Cat, the third section is handled by Dantata and Sawoe, while the last section is handled by RCC.

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“Let me say that this project was first awarded in 2012, later the last administration reviewed the project to N879 billion under the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) tax credit scheme.

“However, the costs of the project is different from the commitment of NNPC because NNPC’s commitment was just N122 billion and so there was a funding gap of N775 billion and I don’t see where that money is coming from.

“So all I did when we came on board was to keep the project but review the texture of the pavement, by allowing the existing carriageway to be asphalt and then reviewed the new carriageway to be concrete.”

Umahi said the ministry would mobilise the contractors after signing an addendum to collect 30 percent of funds to fast-track the project amounting to N9 billion each.

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He, however, said the contractors would do an affidavit agreeing on the timing for the project’s completion.

“We are very serious about the timing of our projects; we no longer allow contractors to determine how long they stay on site,” the minister added.

“We have to demand for timetable and we have to work according to the timetable. So I am appealing to you contractors to be diligent and committed.”

On his part, Kabiru Rabiu, executive director of BUA Group, said the company is committed to supporting the administration of President Bola Tinubu to succeed.

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Rabiu said BUA made an investment of over $2 billion with five lines of cement in Edo.

He said the construction of the 30 kilometres road was also in favour of the group as well as the people of the state.

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“I want to give our commitment to take on the road project. We are committed to make the necessary investment under the tax credit scheme in return for a tax certificate,” Rabiu said.

Other prominent figures also at the meeting include Adams Oshiomole, representative of the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Edo, and Monday Okpebholo, Senator representing Edo central.

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