The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to finishing the Abuja-Lokoja highway dual project by the end of 2021.
The Director of Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, Engr. Funsho Adebiyi, on Thursday, April 1, 2021, said this while inspecting the project’s development so far.
The Federal Government, according to Adebiyi, is currently undergoing massive reconstruction of several major roads across the country, with the Abuja-Lokoja highway section being one segment that should be completed soonest.
“I want to reassure you and the rest of our road users that this road will be finished as soon as possible. We are putting in every effort to complete this project as soon as humanly possible.
“In reality, Minister Oga Raji Fashola has directed that all efforts, attention, and money be directed toward completing the project by the end of the year, and we cannot do anything else.
“Failure is not a choice for us. We want and try to finish all four parts before the end of the year,” he said.
According to Adebiyi, the project was divided into four parts and awarded to different contractors, with Dantata and Sawoe handling Section One, which is currently 96% complete.
Section two, which was handled by RCC, was completed about four years ago after reaching 100% completion, while Section three, which was handled by Bulletin, had reached about 49% completion, and Section four, which was handled by Gitto Construction Company, had reached about 72% completion.
Poor funding, insecurity, management challenges among contractors, and the position of Lokoja Modern Market, he said, were among the challenges that hampered its timely completion.
“The designs aren’t long, and neither is the stretch. Section one, for example, is only 42 kilometres long, Section two is 50 kilometres long, Section three is 49.3 kilometres long, and Section four is 48 kilometres long.
“My concern is that the budgeted sum has proven to be a major challenge each year. Almost all of our initiatives are seeking support from a variety of sources. This one is now classified as SUKUK.
“Aside from these issues, we recognize that our contractors are dealing with certain management issues, but that is not our problem.
“The problem of Nataco Road and the Lokoja Modern Market is another obstacle. Every four days, there is a market at that intersection, with a lot of human activity.
“They cause traffic congestion, and we keep searching for solutions to this problem.”
“At first, we suggested a flyover to allow for an interchange. BPP took it down, so we’re trying to persuade them to put it up.
“We have two choices: either revive the interchange concept or shift the market away from it. The traffic gridlock in Lokoja will not go away until we do one of these things,” he stated.