Mr Chukwudi Ezugu, National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE) says both concrete and asphalt pavements are good in construction of roads
Ezugu who made this clarification on Wednesday in Abuja, however, said their usage depended on economy and serviceability of the road.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the 21st International Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Institution.
The theme of the conference is “Trends in Sustainable Civil Engineering Infrastructure for Economic Growth’.
He spoke on the backdrop of the trending debate about the use of concrete or asphalt pavements in the construction of the nation’s highways.
According to Ezugu, the two are different road pavements and are used for different conditions of roads.
“If the load on the road is quite high concrete pavement would be preferable, it is also more durable but the cost is much higher but flexible pavement also has a life span of 20-25years.
“So basically there are some roads which are arterial for high traffic you may have to make that decision to do that investment.
“Basically, what we are saying here is that this will depend on the study, because there are experts that study each of this situation with the client agreeing based on the economies and its serviceability.
“Nothing is actually permanent so if you have to do a project that has to last for 20 to 25 years it is possible that after that, you may even like to restructure the project in itself, redesign for one thing or the other.
Speaking on the relevance of the theme of the conference the national chairman said it was geared toward economic development taking into cognisance new technologies and new materials.
“Including local ones and also ways of funding infrastructure, it must be sustainable infrastructure. We need infrastructure, which we develop and which will not constitute a problem to the future generation.
“In other words, the materials you use should not endanger the environment or the future and all these is geared toward forming the bedrock for economic development,”Ezugu said.
He further said that adequate civil infrastructure was known to be the foundation of any vibrant and strong economy and the socioeconomic status of any nation was measured by its degree of infrastructural development.
He therefore said the conference would look at the challenges of impoverished civil engineering development and proffer solutions to change the narrative through the use of innovation, local material and alternative funding.
Also speaking at the conference, the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Mr Tasiu Gidari-Wudil said the worth of any society was dependent on the infrastructure it parades.
He was represented at the conference by Mr Chinasaokwu Okoli, Vice President, NSE.
He said it could be engineering infrastructure, medical infrastructure, economic infrastructure, legal or financial stressing that all the infrastructure resolve around the engineering infrastructure.
‘This is because it is what gives the platform on which a society can boast that they are okay. What we doing here is that the experts are speaking to themselves and at the end of this conference there will be a communiqué.
“Which will be passed on to the government, the people that formulate the policies and drive the policy there are people that implement it and there are people that monitor it.
“So we are all stakeholders at the end of the day the conference will come up with a communiqué on which subject experts must have brainstormed and bring the way forward.
On the issue of concrete or asphalt he said nothing is wrong with either of the methods. Adding that the society was planning on organising a national discourse on it soon.
“There is nothing wrong with flexible pavement there is nothing wrong with rigid pavement but when the core subject experts meet they will advice on which one is advisable.
“It is not a one fit all solution, there are places we see that rigid pavement is more economical, there are places that flexible pavement is more economical.
“Whatever an engineer is doing he is looking at the economy with functionality and durability, sustainability casts it all, so we will be coming up with some statements that will advice the government as subject experts.
“It will be a win win for all of us, and kudos to the Minister of Works for bringing up this issue, this is what happens all over the world that is because he is a subject expert,” he said