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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Senate Works Committee Set to Decide on Concrete Road Issue Soon

The Senate, on Wednesday, announced its intention to disclose its decision regarding the adoption of concrete technology on federal roads in the near future. Patrick Ndubueze, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, conveyed this during a meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers in Abuja.
This development arises amid the ongoing dispute between contractors and the works ministry over the directive to immediately abandon the use of asphalt in favor of concrete technology. Ndubueze’s declaration was in response to recommendations made by the engineers concerning the lingering issue.
Saidu Hassan, President of NHTE, emphasized in his address that any attempt to truncate and convert a project into rigid pavement projects would violate the contractual agreement, potentially leading to litigation. He highlighted that both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them should be based on engineering judgment.
Hassan expressed satisfaction with the National Assembly’s timely intervention to suspend the uniform adoption of the concrete road pavement policy by the Federal Government. He stressed that the use of concrete roads should be subject to scrutiny by highway stakeholders to ensure appropriate engineering procedures and processes.
The NHTE President voiced concern about the limited funds available to the Federal Ministry of Works and FERMA from the federal budget for road projects. He cautioned against the potential waste of resources, especially the discarding of asphalt plants and equipment used for flexible pavements.
Hassan suggested that the adoption of proposed concrete roads would require ample time for importing new equipment and training relevant manpower. He emphasized the need for the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to fix new rates for concrete pavement and revise the contract sum for converting existing flexible pavement to rigid pavement.
In response, the committee chairman assured that extensive deliberations on the issue would take place, and a decision would be made. Ndubueze, representing Imo North Senatorial District, stated, “We have received your report and professional input, and we will discuss this extensively. We will take our decision soon, and possibly we may now officially invite you again with other stakeholders on this issue. In that case, we might come to a conclusion very soon.” The closed-door deliberations included notable figures such as Gbenga Daniels, Adams Oshiomole, and Orji Uzor Kalu.


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