Fashola Lauds Buhari’s Administration For 266bn Naira Allocation To Ministry

Babatunde Fashola on HousingThe Minister of Power, Work and Housing in Nigeria, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has lauded the present administration for the allocation of about 266 billion Naira (about $790 million) to the ministry.

He said the decision showed that the administration understood the importance of good road to economic development of every nation.

Addressing the 22nd meeting of the National Council on Works in Katsina State, Mr Fashola faulted the immediate past administration for failing to maintain, rehabilitate and construct new accessible road networks.

The Minister said the past administration failed to prioritise the Nigerian road system, pointing out that in 2015 budget, 18 billion Naira was earmarked for road constructions as against two trillion Naira commitment made by the Federal Ministry of Works.

“Good and accessible road is a critical factor to the development of any country.

“Good and accessible roads do not only make traveling safer; it is an important determinant between farmers and consumers,” Mr Fashola highlighted

The Minister further stressed that for Nigeria to move forward in terms of quality and accessible roads the state controllers would be held responsible for all federal roads under them.

On his part, the Governor of Katsina State Aminu Bello Masari, told the gathering that there was the need to empower the road safety corps so as to tackle the problem of unqualified drivers and unregistered vehicles plying the roads.

The 22nd council meeting made recommendations from the meeting that would boost road development and help reflate the nation’s economy that is in recession.

In its drive to reflate the economy, the government is looking to give more attention to agriculture which was the mainstay of the nation’s economy before the discovery of crude oil.

A good road network will aid movement of farm produce from one part of the nation to another, as the government pushes for more patronage of made in Nigeria goods.

Ogun Govt. Asks Julius Berger To Suspend Work During Traffic Hours

Ogun State, Road Construction, Julius Berger, Lagos-Ibadan expresswayThe Ogun State government has directed Julius Berger Plc to suspend the ongoing reconstruction work on the busy Lagos-Ibadan expressway during the peak traffic hours.

The government stated that with effect from Monday, August 8, the construction company should not work on the highway from 6:00am to 10:00am and between 4:00pm and 10:00pm.

The government encouraged the contractor to work full blast between 10:00am and 4:00pm and also during the night after 10pm.

The State government also expressed deep concern about the hardship being faced by Nigerians who ply the busy expressway on account of the ongoing reconstruction.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, stated that the measure had become necessary, as they observed that the already bad traffic situation on the expressway had been further compounded by the increasing spate of armed robberies reported along the road.

Ameliorate Disruption To Lives

The statement read: “The Ogun State government welcomes the ongoing reconstruction works in the full realisation of the fact that this will ultimately bring greater relief to our people.

“We however, note that the effort has come with temporary pain, in the nature of perennial traffic congestion and security challenges”.

“In the past few weeks, we took two steps. We increased Police and security patrols on that axis and opened up discussions with the Federal Controller of Works, Ogun State and the contractor.

“We suggested that they should consider working late evenings and overnight in order to ameliorate the disruption to the lives of commuters on the ever-busy expressway and Ogun residents. It is a thing of regret that our suggestion was spurned,” the statement added.

Redesigning Security Architecture

The government said it made the request based on experience and recalled that before the advent of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s administration, armed robberies occasioned by bad portions of the road; traffic congestion caused by unruly drivers driving against the flow of traffic and tanker drivers parking indiscriminately on the median were the order of the day.

“The public will recall that we confronted these challenges headlong. We set up a task force to checkmate the excesses of the trailer drivers so much that the Governor personally led regular enforcement teams on the expressway.

“We also invested heavily on redesigning the security architecture of the state by deploying Armoured Personnel Carriers, elite Quick Response Squad (QRS), Operation MESA and the state Traffic Enforcement and Compliance Agency (TRACE).

“We have also repeatedly intervened by undertaking major repair works on bad stretches of the road, not minding the fact that it is a Federal Government highway.

“Additionally, we took responsibility for clearing traffic, maintaining security and cleaning after the departure of our monthly religious visitors,” it stated.

The government expressed delight that its efforts ultimately restored relative sanity on the road and greatly reduced robbery incidents, but noted that that was until the recent intervention by Julius Berger.

It further explained that the objective of the directive was to mitigate the man-hour losses and socio-economic disruptions occasioned by the ongoing reconstruction work.

The Ogun State government assured the road users that it would continue to monitor the situation and proactively engage the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing and the contractors, with a view to fashioning a robust intervention that would address both the security and traffic situation on the road.

They also implored the people of the state to remain calm as they work round the clock to redress the inconveniences.

Lagos State Closes Marine Bridge-Road In Apapa

AmbodeThe Lagos State Government has announced the closure of the Marine Bridge Road (Inward Ijora) to aid the commencement of repair works by the contractors of the Federal Ministry of Works.

A statement by the state government on Friday said that the immediate closure would also allow the Federal Ministry to carry out studies to determine the state of the Bridge and effect appropriate repairs.

While the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has assured Lagos residence of immediate action towards repairing the Bridge as it may deem fit, the Lagos State Government said it was committed to putting in place effective traffic management strategies that would mitigate the impact of the closure.

The State government further listed alternative routes that could be use by commuters.

Traffic coming from Wharf Base-Point Road should divert at service Lane (Marine Beach Road) by Leventis Junction to Link Lilly Pond by Dockyard and ascend Ijora Bridge to continue their journey.

Motorists traveling to Ajegunle are advised to take a left turn at the second junction under the Apapa Road Bridge to Marine Beach Junction inward Ajegunle or back to Ijora Bridge and continue their journey.

It however, warned that the option was not for heavy duty vehicles.

In the statement issued on Friday, the State Government also implored National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers and its members to observe the reroute to avoid blocking the road when accessing the Tank Farms at Lilly Pond.

The State Government has among other initiatives deployed various signs directing traffic appropriately.

Motorist are also urged to obey personnel of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies deployed to control and manage traffic in the area.

Works Ministry Warns Motorists To Stop Abuse Of Right Of Way

power generation
Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN)

The Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, has called on motorists to stop the abuse of the right of way on Federal highways.

The Stakeholders meeting was held at the Federal Ministry of Works office in Umuahia, Abia State capital in Nigeria.

It was organised to create a public sensitization awareness to the several ways the federal highways are being abused which include illegal structure by the highways, menace of cattle on the highways among others.

The Federal Controller of Works, Abia State, Engr. Nasiru Bello, said that the objective is geared towards a recovery approach to protect and secure the highways for the benefit of all road users.

He hinted that henceforth defaulters who infringe on the right of way on federal highways would face the full wrath of the law and be penalized with a fine of 500,000 Naira.

According to the Federal Highways Act, the right of way prescribes the corridor covering 45.72metres on the either side of the centre line of federal highways, which are often encroached by road side traders, illegal structures, motorcycle riders and cattle.

The Federal highway, as a National asset requires the attention, suggestion and discussion from all quarters, hence all hands must be on deck to achieve a secured and safe federal roads.

Which is why efforts are being put in place to create this awareness to put to an end to the encroachment on the highway by the public.


FERMA Flags-Off Nationwide Road Maintenance In Jos

fermaThe Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), has begun a nationwide road maintenance exercise on federal roads across the nation.

During an inspection tour of Andaha, Akwanga-Jos Road, the Managing Director of FERMA, Mr Gabriel Amuchi, said the maintenance is just an intervention to make sure the federal roads that have failed are motorable all year round.

Mr Amuchi was in the company of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works, Mr. Dauda Kigbu to monitor the exercise.

While Mr Amuchi noted that some of the roads have been built over the past 25 years, Mr Kigbu said the exercise by FERMA justifies the need for more funding to close the gap, while pushing for the reconstruction of some of the federal roads.

FG Should Consider Constructing Cargo Rails On Highway – Lawmaker

highwayA Member of the House of Representatives, Representative Ayodeji Joseph, says the Federal Government may have to consider constructing cargo rails on the highway leading to the Apapa Port in Lagos State.

The federal lawmaker, who moved a motion on the issue in the House of Representatives, said the measure is to eliminate heavy trucks plying the road and damaging it in the process.

After debating the motion, the Lawmakers urged the Federal Ministry of Works to, as a matter of urgency, rehabilitate the road to end the incessant gridlock at the highway.

The House also called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the reconstruction of the Kabba-Obajana Road in Kogi State.

Obiano Inspects Second Niger Bridge

ObianoAn Engineer at the Federal Ministry of Works, Mr Edward Bosah, says work on the Second Niger Bridge project has reached its third phase, contrary to speculation that work on the project had stopped.

He made the revelation during the inspection tour of the construction site by the Governor of Anambra State, Mr Willie Obiano, at the main yard and camp site of Julius Berger, the construction firm handling the project.

The Site Engineer, Mr. Stefan Ueseman, also hosted the Governor in the situation room and took him through a presentation of the work being done.

Governor Willie Obiano said that he was pleased with the progress of work at the site but stressed the need for more pace in activities to ensure that the project is delivered at the scheduled period.

The second Niger Bridge is a 1.596 kilometre highway project with six lanes – three lanes each to and from Anambra and Delta states.

It had a 48 months completion period when the project was awarded in 2013.

FEC approves policy on adverse drug use

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Nigeria National Pharmaco-Vigilance Policy to ensure proper management of adverse drug reactions in the country.

Briefing State House correspondents after the council  meeting chaired by the vice president Nnamadi Sambo, the Minister of Health,  Dr. Onyebuchi Chukwu, explained that there was need for documentation of adverse drug reaction reports and follow-ups as well as further research into such findings.

He said that the endorsement of the policy follows an earlier approval by the National Council on Health, the highest policy formulation body in the health sector, in July at its 55th meeting in Abuja.

The minister noted that the issues of people reacting to particular drugs and even dying from the incidents were often not taken very seriously, but this policy would now take care of that.

He added that the policy would give a boost to the ongoing efforts of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Control and Administration (NAFDAC) introducing ways of detecting fake drugs by the public via telephones, as well as reporting adverse drug reactions.

The Health Minister further disclosed that he has directed the Nigerian Essential Drugs List and Natural Drug Formulary Committee, a department under his ministry, to look into the possibility of banning Rophynol in Nigeria.

Rophynol is the medicine that was used to drug 24-year old Cynthia Okosugo, in Lagos after which she was raped and murdered by her social media acquaintances. The pharmacists who reportedly sold the drugs to the suspects are still in detention.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Zainab Kuchi, announced the Council’s approval of the design of the Oron- Calabar road, being section 4 of the East/West Road at a cost of N671.4 million.

It is a dual carriage way, which traverses creeks and opens up inland towns and communities. It will also enable the Federal Ministry of Works to connect the road to the Benue Bridge and reduce journey hours.