The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ebonyi State chapter, has faulted the directive by the Minister of Works, David Umahi, that the Federal Government would prefer to use concrete technology for federal roads.
The party also said the direct labour approach to road construction deployed by Umahi when he was the governor of Ebonyi State had failed to yield the desired result.
Umahi had in his maiden press briefing recently said contractors who opt for asphalt instead of concrete must give guarantee that the road would last, noting that concrete roads would last for 50 years.
He stated, “What we are saying to all contractors is that they have two choices to make. Choice number one, you must begin to do our roads according to the design which means that if the shelf life of our roads is 30 years, you must ensure that they last 30 years and you give us an indemnity for that. If you are already committed to asphalt, you must also commit to the durability of the roads without excuse.
“Nobody is going to be forced to do concrete roads; my own is that Nigerians must get value for their taxes, that we must minimise the suffering of Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, the PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Chika Nwoba, said in a statement on Friday that the minister’s claim that the concrete roads he did in Ebonyi State would last for 50 years was a ruse.
The statement partly read, “It’s no doubt that Engr David Umahi has some experience in construction engineering, but we are from Ebonyi State and are direct witnesses to how he ran the works sector as governor of the state of Ebonyi for eight years.
“During his reign as governor of Ebonyi State, hunger reigned supreme in the state. His projects suffer dilapidation just a few months to, and after leaving office. One of the shocking failures recorded on his self-supervised projects was the collapse of some buildings inside the Abakaliki International Market, the construction of which he personally supervised.
“When the buildings fell completely, Ebonyi people and residents were shocked. Their shock came from the fact that the governor boasted that his direct labour projects would stand the test of longevity for as long as 50 years. It will take the National Assembly or the President (Bola Tinubu) himself to dissuade him from applying direct labour and concrete pavement technology in all the construction projects his ministry is going to undertake.”
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.