Wednesday, 17 July 2024.

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Coastal highway: Construction of C’River section to commence in August – Umahi

Sen. Dave Umahi, Nigeria’s Minister of Works has disclosed that the construction of the Cross River section of the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway would commence in August.

Umahi made the assertion on Sunday in Calabar during the Stakeholders Engagement in the Alignment of Section 3A of Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway is one of President Bola Tinubu’s Legacy Projects including the 1000 kilometres Sokoto-Badagry Highway and the 461 kilometres Trans-Sahara Route from Enugu to Apo in Abuja.

The minister who said that the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway project would start in two sections in Cross River and a section in Akwa Ibom noted that with the president’s three legacy projects, Cross River would benefit a total of 130 kilometres of road construction.

He used the opportunity to state that for all the projects the Federal Government had reviewed, they would not be paying a Variation of Price (VOP) because it was fraudulent.

According to him, contractors rely on VOP to put a halt on the progress of projects in the nation adding that, any contractor who could deliver on a project on Federal Government terms should leave the project.

“Before the end of July, we would have an indigenous contractors conference, where we will encourage the likes of Sematech and Hitech who are doing good jobs in different portions of the country.

“Some of the expatriates flow with political events and do nothing on site and if you talk, they are ready to bribe everyone available so they won’t do the work.

“This must stop, if you collect money from the government and don’t do the work you will go to prison,” he said.

Umahi appealed to the government of Cross River to give the Federal Ministry of Works all the corporation needed while frowning at people who constructed structures at the road shoulders just to ask for compensation.

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On his part, Governor Bassey Otu said the state would maximally support the Federal Government to ensure that the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway was hitch-free.

Represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, Otu said in the last Executive Council Meeting of the State that N400 million was put aside for payment of compensation which would commence in two weeks.

According to him, “When the project is completed it will be the first time in the country where a coastal road is built to link the country into one.

“Nigeria is one country and the only way we can remain one is to have access to each other that is what projects like the coastal highway can do,” he disclosed.

He directed the state’s Commissioner for Works to suspend whatever project he was handling and join the Minister of Works and his team to ensure the success of the project in the state.

Other projects that the minister spoke of in Cross River were the Calabar-Itu road and the Federal road through Ugep to Calabar. (NAN)

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Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku
Christian Njoku is a journalist with an eye for stories that foster growth and development. His wealth of experience cannot be compared to any other as he is always on top of stories that bring about positive change in society.

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