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FG Approves N1tn For 700km Coastal Highway

The Federal Executive Council on Monday approved a contract of N1.067tn for the construction of the first phase of the coastal highway.

Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, stated this after the Council met at the State House, Abuja, for the eighth time since President Bola Tinubu assumed office.

The 47.47km dual carriageway has five lanes on each side and a train track in the middle. Umahi explained that it forms part of the 700km road spanning nine states, with two spurs leading up north, noting that the facility will be constructed with concrete.

“Today, we had the approval of FEC for the construction of 700km of coastal routes running from Lagos through the nine coastal routes or states up to cross river, meaning that it goes to Lagos, the Lekki Deep Seaport, Ogun, Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom.

“But we also have two spurs that leads to the north, from the ongoing Badagry-Sokoto route and the one that leads to the Trans-Sahara route that goes from Ogoja down to Cameroon. Now, it is a dual carriage way and each carriage way has five lanes and a provision for a train infrastructure that will be at the middle,” said Umahi.

He explaind that although the council had earlier approved the project to be procured under EPC+F (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing), the contractor, High Tech Construction African limited, suffered setbacks while sourcing for finances.

“So, the Ministry went back to Mr. President to ask for two things: We asked ‘can we fast track this?’

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“Since this project was going to be procured in two phases and multiple sections, can we get the federal government to fund the phase one, which is what is 47.47km running from Ahmadu Bello in Lagos down to Lekki Deep Seaport? Mr. President graciously approved,” he revealed.

The former Ebonyi state governor said, “Today, we have procured the first section, which is 47.47km, under 10 lanes and  FEC graciously approved the contract for N1.067tn with no objection. FEC also approved that the second section be procured, to be funded by federal government, which is about 57km and that runs from Lekki Deep Seaport to the boundary between Ogun and that section two of phase one.

“Then the third section is to start from the end of the road, which is Calabar and so that’s about 50 kilometers, and it’s procured under section three of phase one, and is running from Calabar and going towards Akwa Ibom and towards Port Harcourt.

“Then the other sections and other places will still be under EPC+F in favor of High Tech Construction Africa Limited. But let me also announce that the road is going to be constructed with concrete and they are masters in that.”

He also announced the approval of variations on the contract sum of projects which began since 2006 but can no longer be continued to the disparity in prices of building materials.

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“The prices of construction materials, like in 2006 we should be expecting asphalt to cost about N2000 per meter square, and today’s cost is between N27,000 and N30,000 per meter square.

“The same thing goes with diesel; the same thing goes with cement. And so, some of these projects are stuck.

The maintenance of Pankshin-Gindiri Road in Pankshin in Plateau state which was awarded in 2017 got as boost as its contract sum was reviewed from N10bn to N20bn.

Umahi also mentioned the Mayo-Belewa-Jega-Kanya-Tungur road in Adamawa state which was awarded in 2018 and has been argumented from N21bn to N43bn in line with the realities of the construction market prices.

“And then the last one is a road that is going from Yakasai-Badume-Damagum-Makin Zali in Kano state. This was awarded in January 2021 and it’s been documented from N12bn to N17bn,” he concluded.

The minister said “over 1,000 roads are going to undergo this kind of process to keep them alive,” adding that “most of them are inherited projects from past administrations.”

Source: Punch

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