Ahead of the planned reconstruction and repair of the Abuja Airport runway which would lead to a diversion of air traffic and passengers from Abuja to Kaduna, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola at the weekend inspected progress of work on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.
The minister, who stopped at several points on the road to ascertain the quality of work being done together with the Minister of State, Mustapha Baba Shehuri said the federal government through the ministry was effecting the emergency repair work to ensure that the road was safe and motorable even as he called for careful driving to avoid accidents during the period of closure and on the nation’s roads generally.
Speaking to newsmen after the inspection, Fashola said although government has embarked on the emergency repair of the road to make it safe by removing the potholes , a lot depended on the users of the road to ensure that they remain safe and avoid accidents while the closure lasted.
Fashola enjoined motorists to abstain from substance abuse to prevent or limit accidents on the nation’s roads.
“The work that is being done here, you must understand this is a road of more than 160 kilometres. We are at kilometre 130 from Abuja. So the work that is being done as I said is an emergency intervention essentially to remove the dangerous potholes and eliminate potential hazards that could cause accidents for motorists on this road,” he said.
According to the minister, there is a major contract provision that is going through procurement for the essential reconstruction of the road, which he recalled, was constructed in the early 1990s when it was expanded from a single carriageway to a dual carriageway, adding that no record indicated that there has been any major repairs ever since.
“So the road needs to be rebuilt because it has been subjected to a lot of axle load. But what we are doing right now is emergency repairs to remove the potholes to make the road safe for commuters ahead of the planned reconstruction and repair of the Abuja Airport runway which will lead to a diversion of air traffic and passengers from Abuja to Kaduna which will start on the 8th of March,” he said.
He promised that the ministry would deliver the road and hoped that the Aviation counterpart would also deliver the runway in six weeks as scheduled by it. “You can see that some sections have been resurfaced completely but that is not the main reconstruction of the road; let us be clear about what is happening here.
“The whole purpose of this contract is to cover the potholes on the 160 kilometres road two lanes on one side and two lanes on the other side; so that is really to cover 620 kilometres of potholes; that is a contract for N1 billion,” he said.
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