Reps suspends planned use of Cement for Road Construction

By Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The House of Representatives has told the Federal Ministry of Works to suspend the proposed use of cement for road construction across Nigeria, pending the outcome of investigation into the initiative.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Khadija Bukar Ibrahim, on the “Need To Investigate the Adoption of Concrete Technology for Road Construction in Nigeria.”

Leading the debate, Hon Ibrahim informed the House that several studies have revealed that “the use of rigid/cement concrete pavements in road construction has significant technical limitations and constraints.”

She stated that the move by the Minister of Works, Mr. David Umahi to adopt “cement concrete pavement, “allegedly “without in-depth studies of the comparative advantages/disadvantages with asphalt may contradict technical specifications.” 

According to her, “the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Works, has several ongoing road contracts across the country, including those awarded under the Federal Government Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme (RITCS) Executive Order 007 Phase II by NNPC valued at over Nl.4 trillion. 

“The Federal Executive Council approved the awards of the contracts to which the Federal Ministry of Works, Department of Highway (bridges and design), in preparation for the 

implementation of the project. A due process certificate of ‘No Objection’ was granted by the Bureau of Public Procurement to the Federal Ministry of Works for the construction and rehabilitation of all the Federal Road projects. 

“The Contractors submitted a Performance Guarantee of 10% of the contract sum to secure successful project completion. The contract Agreements have strict liquidated damages Clauses with the supervision and monitoring by the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure that standard specifications are not compromised. “

The lawmaker noted that the adoption of cement technology by the government may lead to contract breaches and litigations.

The House therefore mandated its Committees on Works, Environment, Finance and Judiciary to investigate the merit and demerit of using cement and asphalt for road construction.

The committees are expected to report back to the House within three weeks for further legislative action.