The Federal Government has approved road projects which include Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria to Kano at the cost of N155.7 billion. The contract for the construction of a hybrid two-lane-six-lane road network starts from Abuja and cuts through the heart of Northern Nigeria: Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria to Kano.
“The state of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road is in a serious distress and is in urgent need of reconstruction. After 25-30 years of usage, the lifespan of road has expired. The pavement structure is unable to cope with the prevailing traffic,” Garba Shehu, SSA Media to President Muhammadu Buhari said.
As stated by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who made the presentation at the cabinet “this road is currently characterized by extensive pavement failures, alligator cracks, corrugation, underground pumping, rutting, longitudinal cracking, frost heaving, numerous potholes and slippage among others.”
Garba Shehu said: “Consequently, the users of the road are frustrated by, not only the those bumps and potholes but holdups and the criminal activities of robbers and kidnappers.
“Yet, this is a road that is considered as one of the most important and busiest roads in the country. It links 14 states in Northern Nigeria to the Federal Capital, Abuja. Economically, this is the road that conveys all the grains, tomatoes, sorghum and goats and cows that feed the other parts of the country. This should translate into better and improved movement of agricultural products and facilitate commercial activities within and between the states of Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe States and the FCT.
“Politically, this road leads to seven million, one hundred votes, roughly about 50 percent of the votes that helped to put the Muhammadu Buhari administration in office.
The benefits of doing this road include a reduction of road accidents and loss of life.
It should improve socioeconomic life of the people around the road corridors and help to curtail increasing incidents of armed robbery, kidnapping, and other forms of criminal activities common to the road.
“Kidnapping has become a bane of the Abuja-Kaduna axis, as result of the decrepit condition of the road while Kaduna-Kano has a national record of accidents and deaths on a daily basis. Travel time which used be about four hours or less is now six hours. This has increased, not only travel time but also costs for transporters and commuters.”
According to Shehu, funding for the road project which was awarded to the famously efficient Julius Berger will be funded from 2017 and 2018 appropriations with additional provisions being made in the subsequent years appropriations covering the the lifespan of the project.
“This notwithstanding, the FEC directed that the Ministers of Finance and that of Power, Works and Housing meet to find the money for its completion within the stated three years to avoid the horrible fate that befell the East-West expressway,” he added.
Council also approved the augmentation of phase II Galma Dam and irrigation project in Zaria, Kaduna. The purpose of the Dam is to provide water to Zaria and environs to the city of Zaria. The phase I Dam has already been completed while phase II involves irrigation and some additional structures. So there was an augmentation to raise the project N16.5 billion in favour of Gilmore Nig. LTD.