N115.7bn Road, Drainage Contracts Awarded -says Fukekeme Solomon, Works Commissioner

DELTA Government has awarded contracts for the construction of 252 roads and 58 drainage at the cost of N115.7 billion since inception in 2007, the Commissioner for Works, Chief Funkekeme Solomon, has said.
The commissioner said at a press briefing yesterday, in Asaba that N114 billion of the amount was for the road projects while N1.7 billion was spent on drainages, most of which had been completed.
Some of the projects, he said, included the ongoing 148.9 kilometer dualisation of Ughelli-Asaba road, awarded at N44.7 billion and the N11.2 billion 33-kilometre Koko-Ugbenu road.

The commissioner, said government would this year concentrate on road maintenance and vegetation control across the state, adding that N400 million had been earmarked for that. He added that the ministry had evolved measures to ensure that good standards were sustained in projects execution, through quality testing of materials being used.
“To ensure that government gets value for money spent on roads, bridges and drainage projects, we have set up a quality control department to ensure best engineering practices and standards. “The department will start with material testing laboratory at Ughelli, which is already completed and is in the process of being equipped.
“When operational, contractors executing projects in the state will be compelled to carry out confirmatory test on their materials before use on our projects.’’
He also said that the ministry had set up six zonal offices to strengthen supervision and monitoring of projects across the state. “In addition, we are partnering with traditional institutions, opinion leaders and groups in monitoring projects in their various communities to avoid conflicts and unnecessary distractions and delay.’’
The commissioner, however, noted that challenges such as insufficient funds, unpredictable weather and dearth of technical assistance, often caused delay in project execution.