Asphalt would no longer be used in roads construction, as is more expensive, unreliable, and undurable
President Bola Tinubu has approved the use of concrete technology in roads construction across the country.
The Minister of Works, Mr. David Umahi, briefed State House correspondents on the approval.
He said the President also approved the construction of a coastal route with a 50-meter wide visibility stretch, under a Public-Private Partnership arrangement, starting from Port Harcourt, crossing many cities to end in Lagos.
He said under the same arrangement, another 400-kilometre stretch of super highway would be built from Abuja to Lagos to ease the hardship being faced by commuters as a result of the poor condition of roads to Lagos.
Mr. Umahi said plans were under way to construct solar-powered tollgates, with fuel and service stations, restaurants, clinics, motels, and weight scales on some of the roads to encourage all-time journey and safeguard the lifespans of the roads.
The Minister said the current administration inherited about 3,000 road projects worth 14 trillion Naira, and spanning over 18,000 kilometres, adding that 4 trillion Naira out of the 14 trillion owed to contractors has been settled.
He further said the Ministry had not dropped any of the inherited projects, but some of them had lingered for about two decades and were never appropriated for and would therefore have to be terminated.
Mr. Umahi said although the Ministry had identified funding sources to offset another 4 trillion Naira of its outstanding debts to contractors, the remaining 6 trillion Naira would be a thorn in the throat to swallow easily.
He faulted the current appropriation system for federal road projects, and said the piecemeal disbursement of funds to contractors would thwart expected delivery.
Mr. Umahi warned to deal with anyone identified as sabotaging the quality and quantity of projects.
Reporting by Abdullah Bello, editing by Daniel Adejo