Concrete Roads: Umahi Dares Contractors Threatening Litigation To Meet In Court

The Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi has dared contractors threatening litigation over the ministry’s plan to encourage the use of concrete as an alternative to asphalt for road construction.

Recall that the minister had been advocating the use of concrete since he assumed office, noting that it was more efficient and cost-effective.

Umahi during a press briefing he addressed at the conference room of the Ministry on Monday, challenged those who were threatening to go to court to go ahead, saying the Ministry under his leadership has not done anything outside the provisions of the law.

He reiterated the Ministry has always engaged its contractors in line with the general condition of contracts which is the standard practice that all engineers are expected to abide by.

Umahi reminded all that clause 51 of the contractual agreement on road construction empowers the Ministry to direct a contractor to change from asphalt to concrete layout.

The Minister explained that his preference for concrete roads is “due to the fact that it has at least 50 years shelf life, will reduce the pressure on the naira, boost the economy of the country and create employment since there are indigenous companies producing cement, unlike bitumen that is being imported for asphalt.”

Umahi declared that any contractor who insists on asphalt roads must sign an agreement that it will last for at least thirty years which is the shelf life as Nigerians must get value for their taxes.

He said, “It is a fresh technology and it is taking off with the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge and by the famous Shagamu – Ore road, it will link to the seaport that is being done, the Fertiliser company and the refinery.

“No amount of blackmail, threat or intimidation by vested interests will derail us from delivering on the mandate given to us by President Bola Tinubu to drive the renewed hope agenda in the improvement of Nigerian lives through the provision of infrastructure through the Ministry of Works.”

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