SURE-P: FG steps up Dualization of Abuja-Lokoja Express

The Federal Ministry of Works says ongoing work on the Dualization of Abuja-Lokoja Road-Section 3: Abaji- Kotonkarfi has reached 40 percent completion and that 45 kilometers of construction is expected to be achieved on the road which spans approximately 50 kilometers, thanks to steady funding from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).
Briefing members of the National Good Governance Tour on Wednesday during the inspection of the Sections 3 and 4 of the highway, a Deputy Director in the Ministry, Engr. Aganaba attributed the progress recorded on the job to the stable funding from SURE-P.

According to him, the construction work had suffered setbacks for the past two years, mainly due to inadequate funding. He however declared that this challenge has now been overcome.

He told the Team that the scope of work involves construction of additional carriageway to the existing road. The pavement according to his brief consists of 200mm lateritic sub-base and 200mm crushed stone base on 60mm asphaltic binder base and shall be in two coats surface base to a width of 2.75m and 1.5m outer and inner shoulders respectively.

He added that 2 bridges and drainage structures are to be constructed on the road while the existing carriageway is to be rehabilitated.

Other achievements on site are as follows: 128 Nos. of culverts consisting of 67 single pipes, 32 double pipes, 20 triple pipes and 8 single box culverts.

Also, 42.139km of trapezoidal lined drains have been constructed between Ch.82+000 – Ch.115 + 726.

In addition, progress achieved on the two bridges include: (Bridge 1 Ch.100+25) 72 piles completed, 3 pile caps completed, 2 Abutments completed, 6 piers completed, 3 cross beams completed, 24 main beams completed, parapet wall completed walkways completed while stone pitching is in progress among others.

On bridge 2, completed works consist of: 84 piles, 4 pile caps, 2 Abutments, 8 piers, 4 cross beams, 30 main beams, parapet wall completed walkways and Transition slab among others.

The Ministry of Works Deputy Director said the Ministry has been monitoring the construction work. “We have been on their necks, we call for meetings to iron out issues and in some cases we sanction the contractor”, Engr. Aganaba informed.

He further revealed that the job is covered by a one year maintenance contract agreement after which it will be handed over to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA).

The contract he added was revised upward to 25.8billion naira from the original sum of 9.6billion naira.

The Site contractor of Bulletin Construction Co. Ltd, Engr. P.C. Omenye said the initial challenge experienced on the job was how to secure the NNPC pipeline on the route adding that the project had also suffered lack of funding for 2 years. But this, he pointed out, has been resolved.

He told the team that the neighboring communities are being engaged on the project.

In his remarks, the representative of the Minister of Information, Mr. Kingsley Osadolor (Special Assistant to the Minister on Media) described the project as a significant one being implemented by the Federal Government.

He said the Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja-Benin roads had been ‘on the cards’. “The Abuja-Lokoja- Benin express is in several sections. When we visited the South South Zone we inspected a section of the road which was just started then.

“SURE-P is working here. The Federal Government gets about 44 or 45 percent of SURE-P funds to enable it execute projects like this. I would like to urge the Ministry of Works to make the best use of the funds provided by the SURE-P and speed up the completion of the various sections of the road. We are sure that the Federal Ministry of Works will ensure that the job is completed perfectly”, Mr. Osadolor stated.

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