BREAKING: Umahi to surpass construction of 9000km of federal roads — Orji

Special Adviser on Media to the Honourable Minister of Works, Barr. Uchenna Orji has said Nigerians would witness rapid development of roads across the federation to boost travellers comfort on road usage and experience.

Orji who said this in a telephone interview with Nigerian Tribune, pointed out that engagements with investing partners for road construction across the federation would boost the Nigerian economy as it drives commercial activities.

He said it would deliver an unequalled road network to Nigerians surpassing the cumulative 9,000km across the federation by the immediate past administration.

At the twilight of the Babatunde Raji Fashola, administration, his office announced that it has been able to construct, rehabilitate, and or repair 9,000km of roads out of the 26,000km of federal roads it was charged to supervise.

According to Orji, the Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, inherited huge deficit of road networks requiring fixing but with his track record in public administration.

His words; “Going by the track records of Sen. David Umahi he will no doubt make an unequalled mark in the road infrastructure development of the country.

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“He inherited quite a huge deficit in road infrastructure development but going by his tenacity and sense of prudence and accountability in allocation of scarce resources and his sense of power of negotiations, I am sure that he will do more with the little resources at his disposal.”

Orji said the planned engagement of the private sector into road construction and management was going to be holistic with the Umahi supervision of the ministry as it would make Nigerians take full ownership of the road asset to be built from construction to usage.

According to him, Orji has taken measures that would insulate Nigerians from any plot by contractors to deny them value for money with the introduction of the reward system for information that would improve the job.

His words: “He has introduced innovative measures to provide road infrastructure in haste. He wants to ensure public-private partnership.

“Under what we call the biofields and green field principles under the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).

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“In this, he will be engaging the private sectors, including local and foreign investors as well as sub-national governments. In this case, states and corporate Individuals can be engaged to develop, construct roads, maintain, and toll and of course in line with the principles of HDMI of the federal government.

“Again he is convinced to work on the development of the federal government and that includes using everything for construction coming from Nigeria. These include cement, steel, and other materials for construction.

“In that way, there will be creation of jobs and wealth, a lot of graduate engineers will be gainfully employed into the value chain of road construction.

“He is also introducing a reward system whereby, members of the public will be involved in the construction process, especially in the area of monitoring, supervision of road construction and maintenance. This means that every individual will have the right to give information about any contractor who defaults on the job given.

“The whole idea is to ensure doing a good job, to ensure that quality road construction is done.

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“If the individuals do the right thing by informing the ministry, it means the right thing would be done on the roads and they would be rewarded for providing good information to the Ministry of Works.

“Or on any contractor who does not do a good job or any contractor that has not moved to site after being mobilised. This is what the minister wants to exploit to ensure that he does much with the minimal amount of money available.

“The situation appears tougher because of the accumulation of social economic situations in the country but with his tenacity of purpose Sen. David Umahi will surpass previous efforts.

“The programme will greatly involve the federal government who will lead the negotiations with the private sector I ensure that fair toll fee is provided and FG will liaise with sub-national governments to ensure that further lax is provided for parks entertainment centers, eateries and all of that with the required security for operations in the highways,” Orji told the Nigerian Tribune.

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