• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Umahi warns expatriate road contractors over substandard work

David Umahi, the minister of works, has called out the expatriate companies engaged in the construction of road projects across the country, stating that most of the work done was below what is acceptable in their home countries.

Umahi, speaking during a meeting with the contractors in Abuja on Tuesday, said that many of the road projects across the country may not last beyond 4 years, despite huge amount being spent on construction.

“Our expatriate contractors, this cannot happen in any of your countries, it cannot.

“Anywhere there is a project going on, the first thing that is done is the convenience of the people. I feel we are being taken for a ride, and we are being taken for granted. You feel you are doing us a favour, you are not doing us a favour, this is business, and this attitude must stop,” he said.

Read also Umahi sets 4-year deadline for road projects

According to the minister, passengers on a road trip from Abuja to Benin through Lokoja Road, currently spend up to 14 hours, even though the road construction is still ongoing.

Speaking further, Umahi urged the directors to ensure that all contractors are registered with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), adding that each contractor must have at least 15 years of working experience on road projects to avoid failures of contracts.

“Travelling to Benin through Lokoja now takes 14 hours; all the stretches of the road are on contract under the pitiful policies of the last administration. But how many of the roads are motorable?

“I travelled through that by myself and shared tears for the pains our people are passing through. I stayed on the road for 14 hours.

Read also Umahi issues new guidelines on road construction

“We must be respected, I’m directed that if you are a project manager in any of our contracts, you must be registered with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and must have not less than 15 years experience on road construction.

In his remarks, Sadiq Zubair Abubakar, Chairman said that the council going forward, will work towards increased supervision of projects to ensure they match approved designs.

“COREN will key into these new positions that have been mentioned, the lack of supervision of projects will be addressed, and we believe that needs to change totally. We will be able to give our contribution in that respect.

“COREN has been restructured, we now have six regional offices, with Lagos as a special region, and then the thirty-six state offices with desk offices with seven departments, these will play key roles in this supervision,” he said.