President Bola Tinubu has approved over N217 billion for the repairs of the Third Mainland bridge, and other construction projects across the country.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Works, Engr David Umahi, while speaking with journalists after a meeting with President Tinubu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
Umahi noted that the N217bn will be spent on emergency repairs on the 260 roads nationwide, adding that President Tinubu had also approved more road construction works, including project upgrades.
According to the minister, some of the roads approved for construction include the resurfacing of the 3rd Mainland Bridge, construction of Lekki deep seaport road, re-construction of two collapsed bridges in Enugu and reconstruction of two locations on the Onitsha-Owerri Road.
Other roads approved for construction also include the upgrading of the ongoing Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia road, dualisation of the Lafia by-pass and the 7th AXA Road, Lekki Deep Seaport (access), in Lagos.
However, the President also approved the reconstitution of the Board of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, to speed up road maintenance nationwide.
According to Umahi who commended President Tinubu for his deep interest in reinstating most of the roads in the country, the President had approved all the requests he had brought before him regarding road repairs and construction, noting that the projects would commence in November, with the onset of the dry season.
Expressing confidence that the projects would be completed on time and within budget, the Minister said it would go a long way in improving the road network and facilitating economic growth across the country country.
“I’ve always commended Mr President for his deep interest in reinstating most of our roads in the country. Every day we get a lot of concerns from the public on the very deplorable situation of our roads, but there is no paper I brought in respect of that that Mr President has not approved.
“Just yesterday he approved over 260 road interventions across the 36 states and the FCT. You’ll recall that last week he approved a lot of emergency road and bridge repairs; we have three bridges that collapsed on the Southwest roads, and he approved for reconstruction immediately. We have the Shendam-Lafia that collapsed, we also have the approval for its repairs.
“We have about 17 points along the East-West Road that have been destroyed by flood, Mr President has approved and released money for the immediate repairs. Of course the Third Mainland Bridge’s resurfacing and repairs of some noticeable deflections, which have to be done under the deck on top of the water with equipment, he has also approved that.
“Two bridges that collapsed in Enugu, approved by Mr President; the two locations on the Onitsha-Owerri Road, Mr President approved the reconstruction; Lokoja-Abuja Road, Mr President approved the reconstruction.
“I can name them, apart from the 260 emergency repairs all over the country that are worth about N217 billion, so I’m quite glad.
“This afternoon again, Mr President approved the upgrading of the Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia Road, of course, it’s ongoing, but it’s a PPP with the Chinese and we’re paying 15%. Also the construction of the Lafia Bypass Dualisation from Makurdi, through Oturkpo, through Oboloafor, down to 9th Mile, it’s a major one, but Mr President has approved it. This is also being financed by the China EXIMBank, Lafia-Keffi Road is also financed by Chinese EXIMBank.
“Then, the 7th AXA Road; Lekki Deep Seaport (access), in Lagos. You know the Lagos State government is building the deep seaport, meaning that all the cargoes that cannot berth at the existing ports in Lagos can now come to that location and that’s where the Dangote Refinery is located.
“I saw thousands and thousands of well-established companies that are already installing their equipment there. It’s to be a huge free trade zone. So Mr President has approved that I should go ahead and sign the MoU and that it should be programmed for priority in our business with the Chinese,” he said.