The Federal Government has prohibited the use of laterite for road construction.


The Federal Government has issued a ban on the utilization of laterite as the foundational material for road construction nationwide. The announcement came from Senator David Umahi, the Minister of Works, during his address at the inauguration of a supervisory committee for the Reconstruction of the Benin – Warri dual carriageway and the dualization of the East – West Road, Port Harcourt – Onne Port junction road in River State.

Minister Umahi emphasized that contractors are now required to employ lumps, sharp sand, and a stone base as an alternative to laterite for establishing the road’s foundation prior to the laying of concrete or asphalt pavement. He pointed out that laterite has limitations in terms of load-bearing capacity and is prone to erosion and weathering, particularly in regions with heavy rainfall. These factors can lead to road surface degradation over time, maintenance challenges, and a shorter lifespan.

In a statement issued by the Ministry’s Director (Information), Press and Public Relations, Lere-Adams Blessing, the directive was reinforced. Minister Umahi’s address underscored the significance of quality road infrastructure and the need to ensure that the agreed contract terms, including a commitment to maintenance, are rigorously enforced.

He stated, “We are giving very serious attention to the roads between Benin and Warri. The road between Eleme and Onne Port, we are mindful of the site conditions of these roads, the water conditions and the boreholes instead of potholes on these roads. No more laterite; contractors are now to use lumps, sharp sand, and stone base in place of laterite. The committee must implement the contract agreement with a maintenance culture as key. Committee members are to monitor the contractors closely to make sure things are done right.”

He also emphasized the role of proper daily supervision, documentation, and adherence to the new construction method, ensuring that maintenance is an integral part of the contractual commitment. Non-compliance with the directive carries penalties to safeguard the interests of the public.

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