Abuja-Kaduna road: Umahi targets 2024 completion - but says FG can't afford N1.35trn cost - AMEBO NEWSPAPERS NG.

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Abuja-Kaduna road: Umahi targets 2024 completion - but says FG can't afford N1.35trn cost

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David Umahi, minister of works, says the federal government is committed to completing the Abuja-Kaduna highway before the end of 2024.

Umahi spoke on Thursday at a meeting with all directors of the ministry, according to NAN.

The minister said all obstacles hindering the delivery would be addressed to ensure actualisation of the project for the benefit of Nigerians.

"We have about 1.7 kilometers left of Abuja-Kaduna in two sections. The ministry has some supervision work to be done on that road and we will be advised on the real designs of the two sections," Umahi said.

"Funding is also an issue because it is under the presidential development fund initiative gotten from looted funds. I have had to discuss with Mr president about the importance of the road for all users.

"But I won't be able to go back to him until we re-scope it because the project was N165 billion before and a review brought the cost to N655 billion but today the contractor is asking for N1.35 trillion and the government cannot afford it.

"What they are asking for is very wrong. We are looking at the existing subgrade and see what we can do about it.

"We are also looking at the first 40 km to be constructed by Dangote under the Tax credit scheme to do it on concrete pavement but I am very committed to completing that road this year.

"No matter what happens, that road will be done this year."

The reconstruction project of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano expressway was awarded in 2018.

In October 2022, Umar El-Yakub, the former minister of state, works and housing, had said the project would be completed in early 2023 to reduce negative effects on road users.

But in April 2023, Babatunde Fashola, ex-minister of works and housing, stated that the government could not fulfil its promise due to security challenges experienced in 2022 and the relocation of some communities on the Zaria section of the 265km road project.

The project is currently being handled by Julius Berger and is funded through the presidential development fund initiative.

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