Works minister, Engr David Umahi has lamented what he called the poor and unprofessional road construction job done by contractors in many parts of the country, stating that most of the roads built can not last for more than five years in the country.
Umahi who stated this when he met with the officials of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in Abuja yesterday said the only zone in the country that has good work done on the roads was the southwest, where he said that capable hands supervised the job.
The Minister therefore sort the engagement of COREN and the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in constructing quality and acceptable roads in the country.
He said “I want to involve COREN and the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in our road construction.
“l have gone round three regions of Nigeria, I am very dissatisfied with the supervision of these construction works.
“It seems that it is only in the South West that there are very capable hands and hard-working Directors and controllers, notwithstanding, will put the same template to use in all the regions”
“We would like you to join us as COREN , there is no concrete road constructed in Ebonyi that has not lasted Seven years, our recommendation is that most of our highways are going to be a continuous reinforced highways. This is the vision of the Ministry” He added .
Umahi further said “When growing up in engineering, we used to have consultants. Consultant would always know that if they compromised their certificate of practice will be withdrawn even at the ministry level. That is the kind of discipline we want to bring on our road infrastructure. There is no supervision in all our projects, like I said other than the South West.
“Henceforth every project is going to have one senior consultant, later we can begin to have other junior ones, like surveyor, geotechnical and material engineers, and other road engineers “
He enjoined COREN to join him in the propagation for the reintroduction of Concrete pavement in Nigeria.
The Minister said that no road that was built in this country had lasted more than three to four years even in the Northern part of Nigeria.
He said that the roads in the South East are collapsing even while still under construction. “The design in the roads are mostly built below the flood plain and the rains come, and they are washed away.
In his words, the Minister said he counted 9 locations that have collapsed.
Speaking, the President of COREN said “having listened to you carefully COREN and NSE will key into these new positions that you have mentioned. The lack of supervision you talked about, will be addressed, and we believe that needs to change totally, we will be able to give our own contribution in that respect”
He said “COREN has been restructured. We now have six Regional offices, with Lagos as a special Region, and then the thirty-six state offices with desk offices with seven departments. These will play key roles in this supervision. We have developed a protocol to engage our members.
“I believe we are going to play a positive role when we develop modalities on how this will be worked out.
“In the aspect of seven professionals per project, we are going to look at that and also contribute.
On the introduction of reinforced concrete, there is a ministerial committee, with this ministry which has been working on the specification. l am the chairman of that committee with senior experts along with the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FERMA and others. In the next one month, we will make the submission and interim report to you. That should be the first point of engagement which will expand the horizon for us to this new agenda of concrete road pavement” he said
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