Adedamola Kuti, South-West Zone Director, Highways, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, on Monday, said infrastructural development in the South-West and other zones remained top priority of the Federal Government.
Kuti said this in Ibadan while addressing newsmen after a two-day inspection tour of ongoing Federal Government’s road projects in Oyo State.
Kuti, accompanied by the state Controller of Works, Kayode Ibrahim, said that the road projects would soon be completed.
When completed, he said that the roads would link various sections of the country and make vehicular movements smooth.
Although Kuti admitted that there were challenges of funds, he, however, said that government had always tried to ensure that the projects were funded to encourage committed contractors.
“Government is trying to raise money here and there for some of the projects and the result of government’s efforts is what we are seeing here.
“It is not for government to borrow money and people don’t see what the money is being used for. This is part of what the money is being to do,” he said.
Kuti urged the media to do more in letting Nigerians know about the infrastructural development projects being executed by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the director and his team inspected the 52-kilometre Oyo-Ogbomoso highway and Liberty Stadium Road, Ibadan.
Others were the bridge being constructed across Ogun River at Km. 37, Maya-Iseyin Road and the 28.65-kilometre Okeho-Iseyin Road.
Kuti, who said that the tour was in continuation of the project inspection in the South-West zone, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the contractors handling the projects.
“So far so good; we are happy with what we have seen.
“The liberty road project is part of the special repairs of the township roads; no serious work has started there; they’re just working on the drainage.
“At the Maya-Iseyin road, the bridge is already in place. Although the contractor, Preconsmith Construction Limited, was not on site, we are impressed with the ongoing work there.
“The Iseyin-Okeho road being handled by an indigenous contractor, HMF Construction Limited, it is barely six months old and we have seen the level of completion within the short period.
“I’m impressed that within six months, the contractor has worked to an appreciable level, unlike some others who will still be struggling to mobilise to site,” he said.
Kuti said the people of Oke Ogun zone had seen the impact of government by the projects, adding that they should not complain of being abandoned again, as the project was in a border town with Republic of Benin.
He said that government’s presence was still being felt in Oke Ogun zone despite the fact that the area was far from the state capital.
Kuti said that by the time the road was completed, agricultural produce would be moved out of the axis with ease.
“We do hope that the nation’s economy would be better so that we will be able to secure more funds to execute some of these projects,” he said.
On the Oyo-Ogbomoso road, the director recalled that the Federal Executive Council had approved augmentation of the road’s initial contract sum from N47.50 billion to N105.04 billion.
He said that the adjustment in the scope of work covered areas, such as increase in the bearing strength on the road pavement and the volume of thickness of the road.
The director said that the work done so far on it was of high quality and could stand the test of time, adding that the approval of the increase in contract sum would enhance its speedy completion.
NAN reports that the dual carriageway, being handled by Reynoids Construction Company (RCC), was the second section of Ibadan-Ilorin road and a subsection of a major trunk A1 road, originating from Apapa Wharf in Lagos and terminating at Sokoto.
”The road is very vital to the socio-economic development of the country. Since the country basically depends on roads as the major means of transportation, the road serves as the link between the Southern part of the country to the Northern part.
In their separate remarks, the RCC Project Manager and the Managing Director, HMF Construction Limited, Yuri Visman and Ayedesi Adeoye respectively, promised to deliver quality jobs.
They, however, admitted that funds had been the major challenge being faced in the course of executing their respective projects.
Adeoye said that the contract sum for the Iseyin-Okeho road project, awarded in April, was N6 billion, adding that his firm was working to ensure that it was delivered on time.
“Our completion time is 18 months and our mission is to be at 60 per cent of completion stage by April 2021, provided government makes funds available for the project.
Visman, who expressed satisfaction with the augmentation approval by the Federal Executive Council, urged the Federal Government to promptly release funds to fast track timely completion of the project.