The unwavering commitment from the Federal Government remains intact as they assure the completion of the unfinished portion of the Abuja-Kaduna route within the current year. According to report, numerous assurances have been given by the authorities regarding the project’s timely completion ever since it was awarded on December 20, 2018. By early 2023, road users will witness a significant reduction in the adverse impacts of commuting on the Kaduna-Abuja highway and the Zaria-Kano road.
Umar El-Yakub, the ex-minister for State, Works and Housing, made this assurance in October 2022, emphasizing the completion of the construction projects for these routes. In April 2023, Babatunde Fashola, the former Minister of Works and Housing, expressed a similar sentiment about the present government’s inability to deliver on its promise. He cited security challenges faced in 2022 and the relocation of certain communities along the Zaria section of the 265km road project as the primary reasons hindering progress.
This project’s financial backing has been called into question.
During a meeting held in Abuja on Thursday, January 4, 2024, Minister of Works, David Umahi, conveyed his unwavering determination to overcome any contractual hindrances that may come in the way. His assurance to the assembled group of ministry directors was clear, as it centred on the timely completion of the project is guaranteed, granting maximum advantages to the Nigerian population by the conclusion of 2024. The project’s financial backing has been called into question by the contractors.
It has been questioned because the contractors for the road are now seeking a reevaluation of the ₦1.3 billion price, as stated by the former governor of Ebonyi State. Umahi made a statement mentioning that there is approximately 1.7 kilometers remaining for the completion of Abuja-Kaduna road, divided into two sections. The ministry is set to conduct some supervisory tasks soon regarding this road, which will provide the ministry with valuable insights into the actual plans for both sections.
Contractor now demands a staggering ₦1.35 trillion.
Also, the matter of funding poses a significant concern, as it derives from the presidential development fund initiative that is sourced from illicitly acquired funds. Consequently, he has engaged in a meaningful conversation with the president regarding the indispensable value of the road project for the entire Northern region. However, returning to the president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is out of the question unless the ministry conducts a revision of the entire scope of the project.
Revising the scope of the project is due to the fact that initially, the project was estimated at ₦165 billion. However, after a comprehensive review, the cost escalated to ₦655 billion. Unfortunately, the contractor now demands a staggering ₦1.35 trillion, which exceeds the government’s financial capabilities. The inquiry they have made is highly inappropriate. Therefore, the ministry is examining the current sub-standard foundation and exploring potential resolutions. Moreover, they are considering the implementation of concrete pavement for the initial 40km.
Funding for the initiative comes from the Presidential Development fund.
Dangote is responsible for the construction of the concrete pavement under the Tax credit scheme. However, the minister is wholeheartedly devoted to completing the construction of that road within this year. Regardless of any obstacles, rest assured, the road will be fully completed by the end of this year. Julius Berger is currently in charge of the ongoing reconstruction project for the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway. The funding for this massive initiative comes from the Presidential Development fund, and it has been categorized into three distinct sections.
Julius Berger: Website