From Emmanuel Iyoho
The minister of works and housing has stressed the need for local contractors in Nigeria to be given opportunities in federal highways and bridges construction.
This was contained in a press release by the director, press and public relations of the ministry, Mrs Blessing Lere –Adams, saying Mr Babatunde Fashola stated this during the inspection tour of rehabilitation of outstanding sections of Iseyin- OkehoRoad, including two bridges in Oyo State.
Fashola promised the local contractor handling the road, Messrs. HMF Construction Ltd, that when 2023 budget and 2022 Sukuk were being considered, government would be able to accommodate the 4 billion needed by the contractor to complete the remaining part of the construction works on the road.
He said, “If you don’t give local contractors the opportunities, they can’t acquire the experience and the equipment. I have pointed out some areas where I think the contractors can improve upon. They are not structural but aesthetics. So far so good, the standard has not been compromised but to have some equipment for smooth finishing on some concrete works, they just have to improve.
“However, Mr President is committed to engage local contractors, that is the purpose for Executive Order No.7, that is Local Content and Contractor participation on Road Infrastructure Development.”
The minister charged Messrs Kopek Construction Company, the contractor on the reconstruction of Ibadan-Ife-Ilesha Dual Carriageway in Oyo /Osun states not to stop work and to make some sections of the road motorable during the e’ember months.
While inspecting the dualization of Oyo-Ogbomosho Road, he remarked, “ Relief will soon come the way of the road users,though the rainy season has slowed down the construction works on the project, the earthworks will improve as soon as the rains subside.”
He said dualization of the road was being funded through Sukuk and the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme for Roads, therefore, there wouldn’t be funding challenge in delivering the road at the time due.
Fashola said the importance of road infrastructure could not be underestimated as it affects our businesses, the number of time spent on the road while going to work or school and everywhere roads are built the land value appreciated.
He enjoined comutters not to abuse the roads and maintain road speed limits when the roads are completed.
Oba Rafiu Adeitan II , the Onjo of Okeho who approached the minister during the inspection visit within his jurisdiction, thanked him for the good job the contractor is doing on Iseyin- Okeho Road.
The king pleaded with the minister to include the road that leads to Ayegun border from his domain in the project because of the economic importance of the border to his area.
The minister was accompanied on the inspection visit to thevarious projects in Oyo State by the director of highways, construction and rehabilitation , Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr Folorunsho Esan (an engineer), the zonal director, South West in the ministry, Mr Ademola Kuti and federal controller of works, Oyo State, Mr Kayode Ibrahim and others.