By Tony Udemba

In a bid to provide urgent and accelerated intervention on the critical sections of the Benin- Lokoja Federal Highway, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has approved the immediate funding of 30km dualization of three sections of the road, to be funded under Tax Credit Scheme by BUA Group.

The Hon. Minister of Works, Senator Nweze David Umahi, disclosed this during a meeting with contractors handling the Benin- Lokoja Federal Highway and some stakeholders from the area, at the headquarters of the ministry of works, in Abuja, recently. The Minister said that the Ministry took some steps to review the texture of the pavement of the project to conform to the new innovation introduced by the government to ensure best standards and durability of projects.

Related News

According to him, “I first went through the road in September, and was very satisfied that BPP and the Ministry did very fantastic work. But all I did was to keep the project but reviewed the texture of the pavement. And so we allowed the existing carriageway to be on asphalt and then reviewed the new carriageway to be on concrete. Being satisfied, so we went through the process of notifying the BPP, and from there, we went to FEC, and graciously, FEC approved, and so we are in the process of signing an addendum to the contract.” “Mr. President has approved that BUA Group should do 30km of the road in 3 locations multiplied by 2, that is 60km on Tax Credit”

The minister commended BUA Group for their interest to handle the construction of the 30 km carriageway under Tax Credit Scheme, and stated that the intervention was targeted at the critical sections of the road as already isolated when he last visited the Benin- Lokoja road. He said, “Let me commend BUA plc very highly, because on their own they had indicated interest to do about 30km of the road on tax credit. That was one of the reasons I decided to go and revisit the road to know the section they needed to do and also to open the road. So, we had to open the road. We appealed to the road transport workers, that work would start Monday, the next week. That was 18th, and indeed, we briefed the President. ”

Speaking on behalf of the people of the area, the Senator representing Edo North Senatorial District and Chairman, Senator Committee on Interior, Senator Adams Oshiomhole praised the determination of the government of Bola Ahmed Tinubu in changing the socio-economic narrative of the nation through aggressive road infrastructure transformation, and uncommon commitment of the Minister of Works in achieving the vision of President Tinubu on road infrastructure development. The Senator who came in the company of the APC Candidate in the Edo State September 2024 Governorship election and Senator representating Edo Central Senatorial District, Monday Okpebholo expressed his profound pleasure over the new paradigm in the Federal Ministry of Works, noting that the Ministry under Umahi has recorded unprecedented performance in the road infrastructure development within the shortest period of time. According to him, ” I was shocked that within 72 hours this Minister did not only hear the word of the President, he packaged what I have seen from the briefing to be a doable and workable approach to solving a problem that four or five ministers before him could not solve. So I wish to ask us to appreciate his energy, his drive, and his focus, without which we will not be here today.”

In their separate remarks, the Governorship candidate of APC in Edo, Senator Monday Okpebholo said, “Mr. President has rekindled our hope. Just within the shortest time of our request to the Works Minister, magic has been done, if this is how Nigeria works; everybody will want to come back home, nobody will want to ‘japa’.” On his part, the Group Executive Director of BUA Group, Kabiru Rabiu, assured of the commitment of the company in delivering the project within a record time. In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works, Dr.Yakubu Adam Kofaramata, appreciated President Bola Tinubu for the new narrative in the Federal Ministry of Works, which is made possible by the appointment of a workaholic and highly committed minister of Works.