Cabinet Approves Augmentation for Completion of Kogi-Edo Road

Dave Umahi

The Federal Executive Council has approved N775 billion as augmentation for the completion of rehabilitation and dualization of the Obajana-Benin highway linking Kogi and Edo States.

Minister of Works and Housing, David Umahi, disclosed this to Journalists at the end of this week’s cabinet meeting chaired by President Bola Tinubu.

He said the road was started in 2012 at a cost of four hundred and twenty-two billion naira but was not completed by previous administrations, but the current administration is determined to complete it in order to make transportation easy for road users in the benefiting states.

“Today we got augmentation approval for Obajana road in Kogi State to Benin in Edo State; a total of 244 kilometres and 489 kilometres dualized. Recall that in 2012 this project was awarded to four contractors at a total cost of N122 billion and that was for light rehabilitation.

“The past administration reviewed and dualized it in 2018 and later got no objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement. When I came on board in August last year, we decided to review the project to determine whether the dualization was desirable in view of current economic challenges. So today we got approval for an increase from N122 billion to N897 billion,” he said.

The Works Minister also stated that the government’s policy on concrete roads is not affecting the price of cement, as he assured Nigerians that President Tinubu has intervened and cement will again be affordable.

He said: “The policy has not even taken off very well because you should ask yourself how many roads today are being done on concrete? But the truth remains that with the cost of bitumen now, contractors are begging that their projects should be reviewed to concrete.

“But the truth is that I just got a document today, where the three major cement companies in the country say that in 2023, the total cost of their gas rose by over 42 percent and then the import duty, exchange rate have also gone up, it is expected that the cost of cement would go up.”

Umahi also said President Bola Tinubu has discussed the issue with the cement manufacturers, and a couple of incentives have been made available to them in order to reduce the cost of cement.

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