According to a Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) official, the Federal Government will welcome more public-private investments in infrastructure development.
Mr Folorunsho Esan, the ministry’s Director, Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, stated this on Friday in Kaduna.
Esan made the remarks during a two-day inspection of the Funtua-Zaria section of the 64.600-kilometer Zaria-Gusau-Sokoto-Birnin-Kebbi road.
According to him, more private individuals were becoming involved in infrastructure provision.
“This is a NNPC-financed contract, and it is part of the NNPC tax credit scheme.”
“We have private people coming in everyday; we have several applications waiting with us, and we will have more private sector involvement as time goes on,” Esan said.
The director expressed satisfaction with the project’s quality and pace, stating that the contractor was following the plans.
“We drove to the end of the contract and saw the completed sections, and they will undoubtedly meet the deadline,” he said.
He stated that the workmanship was excellent and that the contractor had left no grounds for criticism.
READ MORE: American Airlines Offers Pilots Pay Rise
In response to questions about the activities of truck and tanker drivers that could cause immediate damage on the road, Esan stated that the Zaria-Funtua road had a low rate of heavy vehicles parking on the road shoulders.
He did, however, say that where there were issues with heavy vehicles, such as tankers and trucks, the ministry enlisted the help of state governments and truck and tanker owner associations.
“Those who operate trucks and tankers are supposed to provide where they will be keeping them; the government is not obligated to provide garages for them because they are in business,” Esan explained.
Mr Adebayo Taiwo, Director of Highway North-West, described the Zaria-Funtua road project as “impressive.”
He stated that given their full mobilization, the contractors would have to work extra hard to meet the target.
He stated that once the road was completed, it would be handed over to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ensure its continued good condition.
“We also do emergency road work, particularly where there are threats to the roads,” Taiwo explained.
Mr Wajdi El’ejel, the Project Engineer for the Zaria-Funtua road, also assured us that the project would be completed on time.
“By God’s grace, we will complete the project by the end of October 2022; we are 75% done,” he said.
Mr. Sule Bala, a resident of Giwa Local Government Area, stated that the road was in disrepair before construction.
He claimed that motorists typically spent three hours traveling from Giwa to Funtua, a journey that should take no more than 30 minutes.
He expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the road construction and prayed for Nigeria to overcome its numerous challenges, particularly those bordering on insecurity.
Another Giwa resident, Sani Abbas-Giwa, praised the government’s efforts and urged the contractors to build speed breakers on the completed sections of the road.
According to Abbas-Giwa, this was necessary because many of their children had been hit by speeding drivers.
“We needed many interventions from the government, including good roads, which have now been realized, though the project is still ongoing.”
“What we need now is better security and protection of our people’s lives and property,” Abbas-Giwa said.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mothercat Limited is handling the road, which is currently at the 75% completion stage and is expected to be completed by October.