As part of the Federal Government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the high-quality execution of construction projects, Minister of Works Dave Umahi has introduced six new policies to govern road construction initiatives throughout Nigeria.
These policies were revealed during a courtesy visit by the national leadership of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), led by its President, Engr. Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari Wudil, to Umahi’s office in Abuja on November 23, 2023. This information was obtained from an official press statement on the Federal Ministry of Works website on November 24, 2023.
To break away from the prevalent ‘business as usual’ approach in road construction and guarantee superior outcomes, Umahi underscored the necessity of implementing policies. Here are the six policies he unveiled for guiding road construction projects across the nation:
1. Ensure a well-stabilized and tested subgrade and sub-base course before pavement placement.
2. Subject subgrade, sub-base, and base course to 60 days of vehicular movement and continuous sheep-foot rolling before pavement placement.
3. Introduce reinforced concrete road pavement in most roads’ carriageways and shoulders.
4. Maintain all roads under construction continuously throughout the life of the project under contract.
5. Design road infrastructure effectively based on detailed reports of environmental site conditions and geotechnical factors.
6. Prioritize community relations to keep roads motorable during the contract period.
Umahi expressed a preference for concrete pavement over asphalt in road construction, noting that while both materials have their merits, concrete is better suited to the Nigerian terrain. He highlighted the impracticality of using asphalt in water, emphasizing that concrete can withstand such conditions. Additionally, the minister pointed out that the cost of materials for concrete pavement is significantly lower than that for asphalt pavement, aligning with the ministry’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and value for money.
However, Umahi stressed the importance of rigorous supervision to ensure the successful execution of quality road construction, regardless of whether concrete pavement or asphalt is employed. This underscores the government’s dedication to raising the standards of road infrastructure in the country and promoting sustainable practices in the construction sector.
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