Berger demanding N1.3trn to complete Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway — Minister

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The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has stated that Julius Berger Construction Company is requesting for N1.35trn to complete works on the Abuja-Kaduna section of the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano highway.

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Speaking during a meeting with directors of the ministry on Thursday in Abuja, the minister said the road, which was initially contracted for N165bn was reviewed to N654bn.

He said the government is not willing to pay the new price as it does not have the money.

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The highway was contracted in 2017 but not until 2018 before work commenced on the road.

The road, which was one of the legacy projects of the Buhari administration, was supposed to be completed in 2021.

However, the completion did not see reality till the administration ended in 2023 but a large chunk of the Zaria-Kano road was completed.

Speaking at the meeting, Umahi said, “We have about 127kilometres left in the two sections of Abuja-Kaduna. The ministry has some supervision work to be done tomorrow on that road. Our technical people must leave to see the two sections and advise us on the redesigns of the two sections.

“Funding is also an issue because it is under the Presidential Development Fund Initiative gotten from looted funds. I have had to discuss the road with Mr President on the importance of the roads for all northerners, just like the Lokoja-Benin and East West road is important to the South South persons.

“But I won’t be able to go back to him until we re-scope it because the project was N165bn and a different scope came up, review, brought the cost to N655bn but today, Berger is asking for N1.35trn and the government cannot afford it.

“What they are asking is very wrong. So, we are looking at persisting sub-grade and see what we can do about it.”

He added that the ministry is also looking at the first 40km to be constructed by the Dangote Group under the Tax Credit Scheme.

He said the construction would be on concrete pavement because the area is on a high water level.

He further expressed his commitment to complete the road this year, saying “No matter what happens, that road will be done this year.”

 

 

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