Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved US $23m to fund four road projects across the country. Minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola revealed the report and said two of the approvals were to revise the estimates of the cost to enable the contractor continue work.
Mr. Fashola explained that the council endorsed US $1.4m revision of the contract sum of Oba Nnewi Okigwe road to cater for the change in cost of materials since the project was awarded in 2009. The contract sum had been revised from US $10.2bn to US $12m.
The second contract involves a revision of estimate for the 67 km Alace-Ugep road in Cross River state from US $44.1m to US $31m, bringing the revised cost to US $6m. The FEC further approved a change of contractor for the Chachangi Bridge linking Takum and Wukari in Taraba state, and the contract was re-awarded at the cost of US $6m.
The fourth road project is reconstruction of Katsina-Ala bridge, awarded US $9.9m. Works involves expansion joints, changing of bearings and rehabilitation of the 3.2 km access road at Ugbema junction.
Nigeria’s annual traffic fatality rate was reported as 5,000 in 2008. A major contributor to this statistic is the poor condition of the roads. The country has 120,546-mile network of roads, the quality of which is generally crumbling because they are poorly maintained. Heavy travel on major roads accelerates the wear, vehicle accidents are very common, and the fatality rate is high.
Potholes are numerous, leading drivers to swerve around them, sometimes putting themselves and those in other vehicles at risk. There are frequent delays when vehicles have to slow down. Lagos, the capital city, is notorious for its slow traffic. Some roads have deteriorated so badly they are impassable.