Minister of Works, David Umahi, has reaffirmed his commitment to make a positive change in road infrastructure development, saying there is no concrete evidence of road projects, especially in the SouthEast region.
Umahi stated this during a meeting with 46 contractors handling road projects in the South East and other contractors from the North East over the weekend at the ministry’s headquarter, in Mabushi, Abuja.
He explained that under his watch, road construction, starting from design and actual construction, must meet required processes to be done right, adding that Nigerians are yearning for motorable roads in the country.
Umahi said: “We will get it right; the time to do a good job is here. If you were doing a bad job before, this period is not for you. We must work 24 hours to do a good and acceptable construction that will last.”
The minister advocated the use of concrete technology in road pavement, because it is durable, affordable and can last without much maintenance, urging contractors to decide on the use of Asphalt or concrete.
He, therefore, maintained that the Federal Government would continue to use them, stressing that they will sign an undertaking that if the roads fail, the contractor will bear the burden.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Works, have been enjoined to adhere to approvals granted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
A section of aggrieved contractors of the ministry, led by Vitalis Chikwendu, accused Umahi of deliberate attempts to frustrate the realisation of President Bola Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda by stalling the progress of work through non-payment.
They alleged that Umahi has concluded plans to tamper with contracts already awarded by FEC under the guise of review, insisting that the minister’s motive was to re-award some of the contracts to himself or close cronies.
The contractors accused the minister of stalling the progress of work by deliberately refusing to treat files, sidelining civil servants who have institutional memory.
Consequently, they appealed to the President to urgently redeploy Umahi, insisting that his short stay as minister has grounded activities in the ministry.
Chikwendu, who was flanked by other contractors, including representatives of their foreign counterparts, alleged that the minister has about 80 different companies, some of which he plans to use in executing projects once his plans to tamper with contracts scale through.