National Council On Works Criminalises Illegal Alteration Of Highways

national council on works, alteration of highwaysThe National Council on Works has approved the repair of all federal roads with illegal speed breaker bumps, while criminalizing the illegal digging up of the roads by youths.

The Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, disclosed this at the just concluded 2016 annual retreat in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, for officers from Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau states.

Mr Oyeyemi while lamenting the dangerous effects which the harmful practice has on the durability of the federal highways, called on Governor Samuel Ortom to help curb the rising criminal act of altering the design of the roads in Benue state.

According to the council, the act has led to frequent road crashes, while the increased rate of road accidents across the country have been said to account for about six thousand deaths annually.

Drivers in their bid to maneuver the deplorable road conditions, often run into head-on collision with in coming vehicle, as a result of the bad roads.

A bus driver, Alfred Abah, accused the youths in the community of deliberate destruction of public infrastructure, as he explained that motorists have to do everything possible to avoid the potholes while plying the Makurdi-Lafia road along the Yelwata axis.

National Council On Works, Alteration Of Federal RoadsOne of the youths in Yelwata, Amos Ogwu, in an interview with Channels Television, explained that they decided to dig up deep holes as well as construct speed breaks as a result of the reckless driving of some motorists which has led to several fatal accidents.

The growing trend is what the Corps Marshal campaigning against, while disclosing that such act amounts to criminal offence.

Mr Oyeyemi also added that, the National Council of Works has given approval to correct such illegal erection of bumps as well as road vandalization.

At the end of the retreat, Governor Samuel Ortom, said he had directed the Ministry Of Works to fix all cases of illegal alterations across the state.

On the other hand, the communities along Federal highways across the country have to be sensitized on the dangers of illegal alterations of the road design, in order to reduce accident rates.

Niger Govt. Spends Over 3bn Naira On Roads

Sani Bello, Niger State SSGThe Niger State government says it has spent over three billion Naira on road construction and rehabilitation in the last one year of the present administration under the leadership of Governor Abubakar Bello.

The Commissioner for Works, Mr Abdulmalik Cheche, gave the figure in an interview with Channels Television in Minna on the one year stewardship of the ministry.

Mr Cheche, who was optimistic of the government’s performance, gave the assurance that good roads would be provided for the people of the state, considering the importance of road to the economy of any society.

He explained that the amount was for both State and Federal roads.

“The township roads will also have solar street lights to assist in providing security in the towns,” the Commissioner stated.

Mr Cheche also listed some of the Federal road projects which the state had embarked on and completed to include Minna- Tegina road, Minna- Suleja road and Kagara- Kaduna road.

According to him, the Federal Government gave the go-ahead and promised to reimburse states that embarked on such projects.

The Permanent Secretary of the the state’s Ministry of Works, Mr Umar Bawa, made remarks that addressed the usage of the roads.

He stressed the need for registration of motorcycles and urged all commercial motorcycle users and motorists to strictly adhere to the the rules and regulations.

Mr Bawa stated that some of the state and township roads were completed while others were still under construction.

Meanwhile, the General Manager Niger State Transport Authority, Haruna Abubakar, reiterated his commitment to restructuring the transport sector, as part of the Ministry of Works.

He assured the state’s residents of the government’s commitment to purchasing more buses, repairing of those in deplorable state while others that could no longer serve would be sold.

“The idea is to ease transportation in the state,” he added.

Obiano Commissions Onitsha Shopping Mall In Anambra

Obiano Commissions Onitsha Shopping Mall In AnambraGovernor Willie Obiano, on Wednesday commissioned the Onitsha Shopping Mall in Anambra State, southeast Nigeria.

Commissioning the project amidst fanfare and celebration, Governor Obiano restated the major blueprint of his administration which includes trade and commerce.

He noted that his target was for the people of the state to begin to enjoy shopping activities in the best environment with quality and standard being the hallmark.

The Governor added that the mall, which already has heavy security presence, would have two additional Police patrol cars while the Ministry of Works would commence the construction of an exit route at the back of the mall for easy accessibility in and out.

Commissioning Shoprite Mall which is an anchor tenant, the Governor expressed hope that among other things, the mall would decongest the open market, break shopping traffic from Anambra to other states and attract more investors for increased revenue generation.

In his statement, the Development Manager of Capital Alliance, Osita Okonkwo, said that the project was a shining example of what could be achieved when a proper synergy exists between government and private investment partners.

Onitsha Mall is the largest retail shopping center in Onitsha and one of the most iconic malls in Anambra State and it was initiated by the immediate past administration.

Al-makura Revokes Contracts For Abandoned Projects  

Al-makuraGovernor Tanko Al-makura has revoked the contracts of some abandoned projects in Karu Local Government Area of the state.

He made this clear while inspecting the uncompleted bridge leading to the popular orange market in Marraraba and the Mararraba-Kabayi road in Karu Local Government Area of the state.

Mr Al-makura, who expressed dissatisfaction with the level of work, believes the revocation will enable the projects to be completed before the rain sets in and also help ease the difficulties faced by traders and motorists.

“Having given the statutory 28-day notice to this contractor who has been working on this bridge for two years and he has not been able to meet up the timeline, I have hereby revoked the contract.

Abandoned Projects“We have already got someone who will embark on the completion of the contract with the same amount that is the balance of the contract sum.

“To fast-track the job we will give him half of the amount to ensure that work starts in earnest. I am giving him two months within which to complete this bridge,” he said.

He also revealed that the Ministry of Works had revoked the contracts for other projects in similar state, “We want to see what we can do to reduce the hardship the residents within the axis are suffering before the rains get too serious,” he added.

 

Preparation Of Nigeria’s Budget Is Old Fashioned – Ogunlewe

Adeseye OgunleweA former Minister of Works has described the preparation of Nigeria’s budget as old fashioned.

Mr Adeseye Ogunlewe was speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

While giving his opinion about the decline in Nigeria’s economy, Mr Ogunlewe, said that: “We tend to prepare our budget, income and expenditure in the old fashion way.

“Nigeria, being a third world country, must use the brain of the people for the nation  – a knowledge-base economy so that the knowledge of the people would propel the economy of the country.”

The former Minister of Works opined that Nigeria is lucky to have eminent personalities among the cabinet whom have been doing research for a long time, but his concern is that they have not shown signs of propelling the country to greatness.

“We are in trouble as a nation. The dollar rate is overwhelming us and nothing is being done about it,” he said.

He advocated that the country should patronise Nigerian expatriates in all field of works.

“When I was the Minister of Work, we bought equipment so that Nigerian engineers would team up with the Ministry of Works.

“We are a country that is being led wrongly, we must go back to our people and I believe they can do it.

“As long as we are complacent as a nation – we don’t care for our people, we don’t do research as well as invest in our engineers, then we are a nation that would be lost,” he maintained.

Buhari Meets More Permanent Secretaries

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari continued his interaction with permanent secretaries by taking a look at the books of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Abdullahi Yola.

Briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Yola said his ministry was ready to prosecute any person indicted by relevant agencies of government for looting public fund.

He said that the prosecution could only be done when agencies have found the individuals wanting and make their findings available to his ministry.

Also in the State House to brief the President were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, as well as that of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa, who also told State House correspondents that his briefing with the President centred on job creation.

Musa said that in the days ahead, the current administration would be doing everything possible to attract more investments and encourage businesses.

Ahead of the appointment of ministers, President Buhari has been receiving briefings about happenings in the various ministries to get a first-hand information.

President Muhammadu Buhari continues to push further his concern about the prudent management of Nigeria’s finances, with a call on the Permanent Secretaries of various ministries to be prudent in the management of resources.

He had on Monday received the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mrs Anesthesia Nwobia, who told reporters that her ministry was working assiduously to ensure that all revenue leakages were blocked, as instructed by the President.

FG Owes Lagos State N51 Billion Road Construction Funds – Commissioner

femi_hamzatThe Lagos State Commissioner for Works, Mr Femi Hamzat on Monday said the Federal Government is indebted to the Lagos State Government to the tune of N51 billion meant for road construction.

“We submitted a bid of 59 billion Naira based on all the roads that we have done and they came back and said 51 billion Naira but till today they (FG) have not paid a dime.

“Now that is what is affecting the building of our own inner roads”, he said on Sunrise Daily.

He noted that the Federal Government had set up a committee of engineers and auditor, three years ago that went round to the state to ascertain the level of road construction carried out by the state government on federal roads.

He, however, maintained that the state government embarked on repairing the federal roads because it would affect movements.

“If you don’t do them, people will not move around the state into the inner roads.

“Right now, we are fixing the expansion joints on Eko Bridge. That bridge could collapse if we don’t maintain it. It is costing us about 500 million Naira. So are we going to fold our arms because the federal government is not doing it.

“We have done 19 of them now and we are on the 20th and 21st” after which “we will do the bearing,” he said.

Mr Hamzat, who revealed that the Lagos State government was studying the Apapa Bridge, said: “We can’t do it all at the same time because that will lead to congestion.

He further noted that the Lagos State Government carried out a survey to find out the durability of all bridges in the state “and submitted the report to the Federal Ministry of Works and nothing is being done”.

He said it will be ‘amazing’ for the Federal Government to say that they do not have resources to pay for the repair of the federal roads in Lagos State because “when the revenue comes, the Federal Government takes 56 per cent, then two per cent for Ecology and one per cent for the Federal Capital Territory; that’s 59 per cent.

“So 41 per cent is distributed between the 36 states and the 774 local government areas.

“You can see that the majority of the resources goes to the Federal Government, so when they now say they don’t have the resource, it is amazing,” he said.

He said, according to global practices, “the ports take care of 10 to 15 kilometres radius of the port”, adding that the “Nigerian Ports Authority made 1.3 trillion Naira, but the Federal Government  can’t  fix the roads (Apapa-Oshodi Expressway)”.

“Eighty per cent of the containers that come into this country come through that road. It is a miracle that our roads are in that state in Apapa,” he said.

I Didn’t Refuse To Honour Senate’s Invitation- Onolemenmen

The Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenmen has insisted that he never refused to appear before the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme.

In a press statement signed by his Media Assistant, Tony Ikpasaja, Onolemenmen explained that he was part of the President’s entourage which visited Israel as at the time the Senate Committee was sitting.

He rejected insinuations that he refused to honour the invitation of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee.

The statement also added that the minister proceeded to Germany on another official assignment at the conclusion of the President’s visit to Israel.

The Senate Committee on Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SUREP) had threatened to use every available legal instrument against the Minister for failing to appear before it.

The committee had invited the Minister to appear before it to explain how the ministry spent the sum of about N30 billion (about 188.6 million dollars) SURE-P funds from 2012 to 2013.

At the meeting, the chairman of the panel, Senator Abdul Ningi,  regretted that despite the invitation letter to the minister, which was duly acknowledged, he refused to appear before the committee.

According to him, “a minister of this government cannot refuse to appear before any committee of the National Assembly, let alone of a senate committee that is saddled with the responsibility of unfolding a programme that is not clearly defined to Nigerians.”

 

House queries ministry officials over N3.3 billion road contracts

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has queried the Ministry of Works over alleged irregularities in the award of two road contracts valued at over N3.3bn.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Adeola, said on Sunday that one of the contracts was the N1.045bn Nsukka-Adani Road in Enugu State.

He added that the second contract was sited in Nasarawa State and valued at N2.3bn.

Adeola said the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation had earlier raised queries on the contracts and forwarded its report to the PAC.

The lawmaker noted that the committee observed a curious “overpayment” of N22m to contractors for the Nsukka-Adani Road in 2006 – two years after the project was abandoned in 2004.

“How come the Federal Ministry of Works issued certificates for further payments to the contractors in 2005 and 2006 even though the contract was terminated in 2004?

“There has to be explanations for this overpayment; it is curious,” he said.

In the case of the road in Nasarawa State, he said the state government initially awarded it for N77m, but it was later taken over by the Federal Government and re-awarded for N2.3bn.

Minister defends the expenditure of N37 billion in 2012 Budget

The Ministry of Works has spent about N37 billion out of the N44 billion it received to execute projects in 2012.

Briefing state house correspondents after meeting with the president to present the budget performance of the Ministry, the Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolemeimen said that the Ministry has recorded about 93 per cent performance of the amount so far released.

He said that twelve road projects have been completed while 156 others are on-going and intervention work is about to commence on the dualisation of some other major roads.

According to the Minister, the president was informed of the dire need to quickly address some major expressway that are important to the nation’s economy but are in utter state of disrepair.

He listed the roads as, the Port-Harcourt-Enugu expressway, the Onitsha/Enugu expressway, the Abuja-Abaji expressway, Lokoja express way, the Kaduna-Maiduguri expressway, the Apapa-oshodi expressway and the Benin-Ore expressway

He further stated that the rate of accidents on the roads have reduced due to proper maintenance.

The Federal Ministry of Works assures Nigerians that making Nigerian roads safer and better is a task they have set to accomplish in the interest of the nation.