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Federal Government Takes a Stand: Bans the Use of Laterite for Road Construction

October 6, 2023

The Minister of Works, Senator  David Umahi, has announced a ban on the use of laterite as a base in road construction.

He  directed that henceforth, contractors should use lumps, sharp sand and stone base to form the base before laying of concrete or asphalt pavement.

The Minister gave this directive while inaugurating  a committee for the supervision of the Reconstruction of Benin – Warri dual carriageway and the dualization of East – West Road, Port Harcourt – Onne Port junction road in River State.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Director (Information), Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Lere-Adams Blessing, in Abuja, on Friday.

According to her, Umahi noted that laterite has a limited load bearing capacity, susceptible to erosion and weathering especially in areas with heavy rainfall and this can lead to degradation of the road surface overtime, maintenance challenge and does not last long.

She quoted the Miniater as saying, “We are giving very serious attention to the roads between Benin and Warri. The road between Eleme and Onne Port, we are mindful of the site conditions of these roads, the water conditions and the boreholes instead of pot holes on these roads.

“No more laterite, contractors are now to use lumps, sharp sand and stone base in place of laterite”

The Minister also directed the newly inaugurated Road Taskforce Team that there must be a continuous maintenance of all the roads under construction until the end of the project.

He enjioned them to ensure that the contractors are duly informed of the development, and that they should remember that the ministry is under a matching order given by Mr. President,
to fix Nigerian roads for the citizens to have ease of movement from one location to the other.

Umahi said, “The committee must implement the contract agreement with maintenance culture as key. Committee members are to monitor the contractors closely to make sure things are done right.

“Our contractors can now understand that we are not insisting that things have to change without a reason,  but that the society is demanding for sustainability and integrity of the work they are doing”.

Umahi disclosed that road infrastructure is one of the key factors for the revolution of our commerce, education, security and power in this country and that Mr. President is committed to our road infrastructure improvement and thus the Ministry is on a mission to uphold the renewed hope agenda of this administration on road infrastructure provision.

“I want to say that road infrastructure is one of the key factors for the revolution of our commerce, education, security and power in this country and Mr President is committed to our road infrastructure, so we are on a mission and we must take back our country.
He added.

The Minister equally mandated the committee to ensure daily proper supervision and documentation of what the contractors are doing and that they must ensure the new methods of construction are followed including maintenance because it is part of the elements of the project and  anything contrary to this will attract appropriate sanctions.

Umahi said, “We are not at war with the contractor but contractors should not put the public to suffering.  Proper daily supervision and documention of what the contractor is doing is compulsory.

“They must ensure the new method of construction is followed and maintenance follows too because it is part of the elements of the contract and any offence is punishable.”

Umahi ordered that contracts must be stable; no variation (VOP) on the contract will be accepted.

He charged the contractors using asphalt pavement to ensure that their contracts are stable, sustainable and can stand the test of time and warned that the ministry will not go to Federal Executive Council (FEC)to ask for increment because of the fluctuating price of bitumen, insisting that the ministry will not go beyond the N6trillion set aside for the ongoing projects completion.

He also said, “Those contractors using asphalt concrete and have achieved 80 percent completion can go ahead but no cost variation because I cannot be going to the National Assembly on weekly basis asking them for increment of contract sum”

The Minister added that before mobilization fund can be released to any contractor, the contractor must have mobilized 50% of its equipment and personnel to site.

He noted that the ministry will respect the rights of contractors and contractors have to also respect the right of the citizens.

Meanwhile, the committees constituted are as follows :

Reconstruction of Benin-Warri Dual Carriageway (Section 1 : By Levant Construction Company Ltd):
Engr. C. Oke, Deputy Director HSSI; Engr. B. W. Hassan; Representative of the Honourable Minister; Representative of Highways MG&QC; Representative of Human Resources Department, FMW; Representative of Legal Department, FMW ; Representative of COREN; Representative of NSE. Among others.


Credit: Vanguard



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