Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has explained that one of the reasons for the delay in the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano dual carriageway was the request made by some members of the National Assembly to expand the road from two lanes to three lanes.
A statement from the Ministry of Works’ Deputy Director Press and Public Relations, Boade Akinola, quoted Fashola as saying this at the town hall meeting of stakeholders organised by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing held in the Kaduna State University Conference Hall, Kaduna.
The statement issued on Friday was titled, ‘FG Reiterates Commitment to Completing Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria -Kano Dual Carriageway’.
Fashola also reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to completing the ongoing reconstruction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano dual carriageway.
Responding to various questions from stakeholders who wanted to know why the construction work on the road was taking too long, the minister was quoted as saying, “Shortly after we flagged off the road, we received a letter from the Senators in the National Assembly asking the Federal Government to expand the road from two lanes to three lanes, that was not from us, it was from the National Assembly, the Senators and they wrote to the President and copied my Ministry.”
Explaining further, Fashola stated that based on the directive from the Presidency to undertake that expansion, “we needed to redesign an expansion to accommodate about 40 different bridges on this road to align with the lanes.
“So if they are going to expand from two to three lanes, a new design needed to be created. The process for doing that required us to hire a design consultant. We had to follow the procurement process established by the National Assembly.”
He said, “The procurement process is a long one which entails advertising, waiting for a period of six weeks after advertisement, reviewing of tender, picking of consultant and going to the Bureau for Public Procurement and finally to the Federal Executive Council for approval to hire a consultant to do the design requested.”
The Minister also disclosed that after going through all the processes of procurement for redesigning to three lanes the Ministry received another instruction to revert back to two lanes due to paucity of fund.
Fashola also attributed the delay in completion to the total length of the road and the process of construction.
He added, “Each Lane is 375km. So if you multiply that by four, we are building a thousand and five hundred kilometres of highway. No matter how hard you tried to work, if there was 25 hours in one day to do this work, we will commit to it, but the truth is that materials take time to react, minimum and maximum processes must be observed.”