Dave Umahi, the Minister of Works, has declared that no federal road in the country can endure for a period of seven years. This assertion follows his extensive road inspection tour across the nation, during which he discovered that numerous roads were plagued with potholes, deteriorating to the extent of resembling “boreholes.”
The minister also accused road contractors of deceiving Nigerians by employing substandard materials, thereby inflating project costs through contract variations and the use of asphalt materials tied to the international crude oil price.
Emphasizing the significance of rigorous documentation and clearance procedures, Umahi added that contracts would not be executed without the essential design plans and original road blueprints.
He stated, “There is no ongoing project in Nigeria that is built to last for seven years. The question is, are we destined to continuously maintain or reconstruct our roads every decade? That seems to be our pattern. I personally traversed the route from Abuja to Benin City via Lokoja, and while all sections of the road are under contract and in progress, how many of them are actually motorable? I embarked on the journey myself and was deeply moved by the hardships our people endure.
“I spent 14 hours on the road, commencing my journey at 10 am and reaching Benin City at 2 pm the following day. I felt firsthand the pain experienced by our citizens. As President Tinubu instructed me to travel and assess all the projects to convey my experiences and report the truth to him.”