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Abuja-Kaduna road project to be completed by Q1 2024, says Umahi

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David Umahi

The Minister of Works, Mr David Umahi, has again given the assurance that the reconstruction work on the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway will be completed by the first quarter of 2024.

 

Umahi made this known while inspecting the project on Thursday to assess the progress made so far by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the contractor handling the project.

 

The minister however frowned at the slow pace of work on the project, which was awarded in 2017.

Umahi noted that insecurity and poor funding were the major challenges affecting the timely completion of the road.

”Work on the 375.9 km dual-carriage Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road is in three phases , with phase three (Zaria-Kano) at 100 per cent completion.

”The phase two (Kaduna- Zaria) was at 60 percent completion and Phase one (Abuja-Kaduna) was only at 20 percent completion level,” he said.

He assured that the President Bola Tinubu was committed to ensuring that all impeding factors are sorted out to ensure that the contractor delivers the project in 2024.

“I am here on the directive of Mr President, who has directed that I must be on site to see most of this ongoing projects before I can put figures together.

“Mr president has asked me to assure Kaduna people and everyone that this road is very important to him as part of his renewed hope agenda for Nigerians.

“He is committed to finishing the road, in 2024,and not 2025 as stated in the contract earlier, and we will match his word with action.

“We are satisfied with the quality of work, but we are not satisfied with the pace of work, so we have to find out what are the problems.

“This road is very important, if it is security we will tackle it and provide security in each section where they are working and we also want to deploy solar lights on the roads,” the minister said.

The minister expressed satisfaction with the quality of work on the road but urged the contractor to increase the pace of work.

He directed the contractor to ensure that more men and equipment are moved to other sections of the road to ensure that work goes on simultaneously.

He also called on the contractor to introduce concrete in parts of the road in order to deliver a more durable and lasting road to Nigerians.

The minister, therefore, appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the government in its commitment to deliver a durable road that would stand the test of time.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the initial rehabilitation contract was awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria for N155 billion.

The project cost was however raised to N797.2 billion, an increase of N642.2 billion from the initial project cost.

Former minister of worls, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on March 4, had told journalists at the end of the federal executive council meeting that the scope of work on the highway was changed from the ongoing renovation to complete reconstruction.

”I presented a memorandum and one report with respect to the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano highway to change the scope of works form rehabilitation previously awarded to full reconstruction of two lanes on both sides.

“The council considered and approved the request for that change of scope and the incidental cost consequence changing the existing contract from N155 billion to N797.236 billion.

“The new scope provides for full reconstruction of the main carriageway, trailer parks, weigh bridges, toll stations and additional side lanes in the built-up areas across the FCT, Niger, Kaduna and Kano states, which are all served by the road. This was approved by council for the same contractor.”

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Bandits shoot 40 dead, sack Plateau community

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Bandits in their numbers reportedly attacked Zurak village in Bashar District of Wase local government area of Plateau State, killing more than 40 persons, including vigilantes.

 

According to residents of the community, the incident occurred around 5: pm, on Monday, when people were going about their normal activities.

 

The residents said but they could not immediately report the incident due to the poor communication network in the area.

According to Sahpi’i Sambo, a youth leader in the area, who also confirmed the incident to Daily Trust, the bandits arrived at the community on motorcycles – two on a bike – with sophisticated weapons and started shooting sporadically.

He said “More than 40 people were killed while many injured. Residents of the village have fled to neighbouring communities for cover. As of yesterday, security personnel had not yet arrived at the community. It was deadly,” Sambo said.

Spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Alabo Alfred, had not responded to inquiry by our correspondent as of the time of filing this report.

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Ex-Sports Minister laments after hospital neglected him for hours over N80000 deposit

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A former Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has recounted how a hospital in Plateau State did not attend to him because of the non-payment of the admission deposit.

 

Dalung said he fell ill on Wednesday, May 8, and went to the unnamed hospital for treatment but that the hospital refused to give him treatment because he had yet to make an admission deposit despite holding his medical records. The former minister said he regained partial consciousness later and transferred the deposit before he was attended to.

 

“I took ill on Wednesday, arrived at the hospital & shortly became unconscious after doctor’s interviews. Was ferried into emergency ward but abandoned for over 4 hrs due to non payments of admission deposits. Regained partial consciousness later did the transfer of deposit.

After that, I fell into unconsciousness again for about 7 hours. To God be the glory, I have been discharged after 3 days & recovering. Were it not for partial consciousness to pay the deposits, I would have been Mr. late. Many Nigerians have gone this way. Where is our humanity?

I was then admitted into the ward and given medical attention. This is the hospital that has my medical records. The last medical checkup I did about 2 months ago was there, but suddenly, I became a stranger because of non payments of deposits even with the so-called name. Hmmmm”

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