Federal Minister, Dave Umahi Inspects Aba Axis Of PH -Enugu Expressway

...commends contractor handling the site


The Minister of Works and former Governor of Ebonyi State, Senator David Umahi has commended Arab Contractors on the job nearing completion on the Aba axis of the PH – Enugu express carriage way.
In an interview with newsmen on his on the spot assessment of the road project he said that the project, which was first awarded about 10 years ago, had yet to be completed because of the high cost of construction materials.
“When I came on board in August 2023, bitumen was N500,000 per ton, but today it’s about N1.3 million.
“That is why we are asking, can we go for concrete that is almost about 95 per cent sourced locally?”
The Minister also ordered the arrest of some perons trading on the completed section of the Aba axis of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, still undergoing rehabilitation.
He expressed disappointment over the activities of the traders, saying that they would be charged to court according to the law of the land.
The Minister emphasized the need for state governments to constitute a special task force to enforce discipline on individuals that sabotage the efforts of the federal government in providing quality roads for the citizens
He said: “It appears the people here like to inflict injuries on themselves.
“They can’t even allow the contractor to work.
“They drive against traffic. They use the completed road for parks, trading and dumping of refuse.
“The whole of Aba refuse is being dumped on this road. It is not encouraging at all.
“I will advise the governor to set up a task force here.
“We wouldn’t like after the Federal Government had spent so much here we see people building and trading on the road.
“So, the only way out for this work to be completed is for the Governor to set up a task force and clear the road.
“The citizens of this country will need to do their bit, while leadership also does its bit. That is the only way it will work.
“While Mr President is passing through sleepless nights on how to solve the problems of a very bad inherited economy, Nigerians should support him and also support themselves.”

On the supposed fraud with a Microfinance Bank, the Minister of Works, says the project that led to the disbursement of N9.3bn to a Microfinance Bank by the Federal Ministry of Works was not awarded when he assumed office.
There are issues with the report because up to 20th of August, I was in the senate.

When a contractor has done his or her work, the money becomes his money, he can say, pay it to this bank or another. So, they are being mischievous. If they are asking whether the job has been done, that is reasonable and a right to provide an answer but they do not have the right to say where a contractor will say his money will be paid.
Whether it is paid into a microfinance bank or not, without prejudice that I don’t have the facts about the jobs, they have no right to say it is paid into a microfinance bank.”

He added that the information was a distraction, alleging that it is the work of bad contractors to fight back.
The jobs were never done by me, payments were not done by me and even if it was me, if the jobs were done and the certificate generated; deployed to the platform and it was appropriated and money was released against the project, then they have no right to question where it was paid.”

Dave Umahi said that contractors handling all federal roads will not be paid their money except state Governors where such jobs are done certify them as being of high quality.

He maintained that Governors of various states where Federal works are being carried out should always inspect the jobs to ensure that contractors meet the specifications.
Umahi said except governors report to his office on the quality of job done in their states, no payment would be made.

“In all the states. It is our policy that the state governors through their appointed officials must mark off any project especially the emergency projects. When the contractor has completed a job, no matter how big it is. My advice for the Governor is to come to the site and look at it before it gets to our office for payment, where this procedure is not done, I will not sign any generated certificate. So, we have invited the public to also be a part of the monitoring,” he said

The Minister had earlier inspected the NNPC Filling Station, near Umuahia and Abia Tower section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.

He also expressed happiness with the work done by Setraco Nigeria Limited, but urged the company to correct some errors that he detected since it’s within the remedial peroid


Earlier, the Federal Controller of Works in-charge of Abia State, Mr. Tony Onwubiko, said that the project covered about 57Kms from Abia Tower in Umuahia to the Railway Crossing at Alaoji in Osisioma Local Government Area of the state.