Another N1bn approved for completion of Abuja-Lokoja road

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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The Federal Executive Council has approved the augmentation of N1.097billion for the completion of the Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja dual carriageway.

The approval was given at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Minister of State (I) for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shauri, stated this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.

Shauri said the contract for the construction of the road was first awarded in 2006 at the cost of N11billion, but that the contract was reviewed to N28billion in 2011.

“The augmentation became necessary because of the changes in the prices of goods, including labour,” he said, pointing out that the cost of cement, rods needed for culverts and bridges has gone up from what obtained in 2011.

“There is also a certificate for over 300 million that was raised by the company that was included, bringing it up to N1.097billion,” he said.

Shauri said the augmentation of the contract for Abuja-Lokoja contract was one of the four memos that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing presented and got approval for at the cabinet meeting.

Another augmentation of N73 million was approved for the contract for the construction of a bridge in Sumaila LGA of Kano State, which was earlier awarded at the cost of over N1.2billion.

The minister said that there is a provision of over N200million for the bridge in the 2018 budget.

He said approval was also given for the reconstruction of the Abak-Ikot Abasi Road in Akwa Ibom State at the cost of N5billion.

Shauri said: “It is a very old road and because of wear and tear over the years, it has started failing.  So the ministry intervened to reconstruct it.”

He said the contract for the reconstruction of the 14 km road, which is “a very important agricultural road”, was awarded to Messrs CCECC Nigeria Ltd.

Solar for power ministry

Shauri also said the council approved “a memo for the award of contract to design, finance and build and operate a 750 Kilowatts hour daytime and 75kilowatts hour night time solar generating facility at a commercial operation cost for the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.”

He said the contract, awarded to Prozap Energy Service Ltd at the cost of N78million, was in line with the ministry’s policy on diversification.

“By this memo, the company would use the roof in the power ministry and the roof in the parking facility in the ministry to generate power for the ministry at a cost that has been negotiated, which is less than what we are paying to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company,” he said.

According to him, the ministry would be on solar power for six months as an experiment, after which it would be extended to other ministries, department and agencies as well as schools and hospitals in remote areas, reducing dependence on the national grid.