The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, has reiterated the use of concrete pavement technology in road construction projects for its cost effectiveness and durability.
Umahi said this during a courtesy visit to the Acting Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, in Akure on Friday.
The minister said that the use of cement for road construction had been tested in some states, stressing that it is more durable and cost-effective than bitumen.
He said that any road construction contract that the job was not more than 20 per cent done would be redesigned to concrete pavement road.
Umahi said that importation of bitumen was putting more pressure on the Naira and with the use of concrete pavement roads, it would be more of local content.
“Very important thing that I must let you know is the introduction of concrete technology on our roads.
”My argument is that a lot of roads built on concrete have a shelve life of 50 years.
“But there is no asphalt road here, especially in South-South, South-East and South-West, even if it is done by top contractors that will not last only 15 years.
”Jobs that are still ongoing and that is why we are going round and redesigning portion of roads that are maybe 10 to 20 per cent completion, and we are sure that this is the way to go and it has guarantee of 50 years.
“Not only that, you will find out that we are having so much pressure on the Naira, the importation of bitumen is a lot pressure on the Naira, so cement is a local content, almost everything we need is being produced in Nigeria,” he said.
Umahi said that road construction was a dynamic sector due to soaring in the prices of materials.
“Let me put it on record that bitumen imported in the 1950s and 1960s were of more quality than what we have today, and that’s why we are courageous to introduce the concrete road department,” he said.
Umahi said the recently awarded Akure-Ado-Ekiti road would be redesigned to concrete pavement road.
Aiyedatiwa, while congratulating the minister on his appointment, lamented the deteriorating conditions of most federal roads in the state.
The acting governor called for the dualisation of Akure-Ondo-Ore road and the need to urgently rehabilitate the Ore-Okitipupa road among other federal roads in the state.