Roads in Akwa Ibom State constructed under the administration of Udom Gabriel Emmanuel would last for a minimum of 25 years without major repairs. The State Commissioner of Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, has declared.
The commissioner who made the declaration in a chat with newsmen in Uyo, the state capital said this explains why much emphasis had been laid on quality and standard from the point of contract award to different stages of review.
According to him, the state government, from inception, had issued specifications in very strict terms for single and dualized roads, saying that the minimum standard for dualised road is 60mm for wearing course, 60mm for asphalt course, 200mm stone base and 200mm earth filling.
He however threatened that any contractor who is found wanting risks repeating the project or having his contract revoked, as the state government was doing all within its means to ensure that no company is encumbered, as it has continued to ensure prompt release of funds to companies.
“Let me say it emphatically here that no contractor in Akwa Ibom has been encumbered. Therefore, they cannot give any explanation for not meeting the standard. So, if you are adequately funded, you must ensure minimal standard. And before commissioning the roads when they are fully ready, I will allow our people to go and do their independent assessment.
“We are not rushing the jobs, we are building this road for minimum duration of good 25 years, and with good maintenance we should be able to achieve that. For dualized roads, while the wearing course is 60mm, the asphaltic course is 60mm against 50mm on single lane road. For stone base course and earthwork, 150mm for single lane and 200mm for dualised road, the earth filling, dualised 200mm, Cross stone base 200mm”.
“I repeat there is no contractor who won’t meet the standard, we won’t take the road from their hand because they are not in any way encumbered, therefore, they have no explanation. It means they would have to repeat the job. If you do a sub-standard job, we won’t take it because we came to offer services and the services we must offer must meet the minimum expectations of our people,” he stated.
On what informed choices of roads earmarked for construction across the state, the Commissioner said the present administration is primarily focused on building economically viable roads that would not only encourage investors but also bring needed economic benefits to the state.
“The last administration did lots of roads but the gap we seek to improve is to network these roads. The difference between construction of roads and networking is that you must ensure that there is a link between roads. What we saw was that you could drive on a 5km of asphalt road and then there is a bush track, and then you are back on asphalt.
“What government is now doing is that we have sent out a consultant to give us a map of this state, the road situation, the kilometers and their status to ensure that we create road network so that if you start a journey on a asphalt, that road would lead you to your destination without having to fall back on a bush track”.
“What we want to achieve is to ensure that most of our roads would terminate either at the sea or boundary, not hanging somewhere, either at a boundary or sea. Our roads must terminate at points of economic benefits because when you create a road network, it should come with immediate economic benefit”.
He expressed disappointment over the rapid erection of fake borehole, tombstones, shanty houses and shrines, even after the roads were cleared for construction.
“If government were to go into it, we would have lost over N4 billion that would have been used for the development of the state. That would have meant that in other communities, when such issues come up, government would have been obligated to pay. So the fact that this was done in the community where the governor comes from means that government has exterminated such trend,” he stressed.