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We'll open Apo-Karshi road before rains - FCT Minister assures

Feb, 2021 | By Wisdom Acka | ||

Residents of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) satellite towns of Nyanya, Karshi, Karu, Jikwoyi and many others in Mararaba, located in nearby Nasarawa State, have cause to smile as FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has assured that the 13.25 kilometre Apo-Karshi road will be completed and open for public use before this year's rains begin.

Residents of these heavily-populated areas have long suffered gridlock on the lone AYA-Nyanya entry and exit route to their locations, with loud outcries over the years to government to address the headache. In response, FCT Administration (FCTA) directed its taskforce on road decongestion to move in and resolve the matter, which the body executed with some success. Bello blamed the delay in completion of the long-awaited Apo-Karshi road to error of design whereby a huge rock outcrop on the road alignment brought construction work to a stalemate.

Contract for construction of the Apo-Karshi road was awarded in 2011 to Kakatar Engineering Limited, a company said to owned by a relation of one of the country's former Presidents. The road was designed to ease the gridlock at the busy AYA-Nyanya-Mararaba section of the Abuja-Keffi expressway that links Federal Capital City (FCC) with the listed satellite towns, and Nasarawa State.

The contract, awarded by Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), was for a sum of about N6.4 billion (N6, 355,609,124.53). The scope of contract was to include site clearance and earthworks; construction of culverts (pipe and box) of various sizes; drainages; construction of two bridges of 3-span (45m) and 5-span (75m); rehabilitation of one bridge; as well as pavement and surfacing.

Reminded that commuters faced daily gridlock on the Abuja-Keffi road due to delay in completion of the alternative Apo-Karshi road, Bello told State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting last week that the initial challenges encountered by the project contractor have been surmounted, adding that work is at advanced stage. He said: "The Karshi-Apo road is a project that should have been delivered by now. One of the main challenges faced in that road has to do with error in the design whereby a huge rock outcrop on the alignment of the road corridor became very difficult to be able to arrange. But we are very happy to say that it is now almost taken care of.

''I believe within a few months' time, hopefully before onset of the rains this year, that road would be open. Already a portion of that road which links Tundun Wada on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway via old and new Karshi is now very motorable because of the bridge constructed there by the Ecological Fund, which was commissioned about a month ago. "I believe this road would help on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway particularly the portion from the military formation right to Nyanya which I'm sure you're aware the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing are working on. It's been widened and all the alignment for the road proper have been graded."

On the recent demonstration against insecurity and incessant abductions by residents of Pegi community in Kuje Area Council of FCT, Bello said the situation was being looked into with a view to addressing them. The Minister said: "On the demonstration by Pegi community over insecurity, all the insecurity concerns were raised at the FCT Security Council meeting on Tuesday. "We are focusing on three things- vandalism, cultism and drug abuse and communal clashes. We have looked at them and we are working on them."

The Minister blamed lack of funds for non-completion of the road leading to the resettlement area in Pegi, "The road in Kuje leading to the resettlement center has been affected by budgetary constraints especially, as you know, 2020 was a difficult year for everybody particularly in terms of our ability to fund our projects. "But I hope in 2021, based on what we have in the budget, we will work as much as possible to see that this project is completed after all it's just 14 kilometers."

News Update

Defending the budget, Malam Bello called it a balanced budget, adding that capital expenditure will gulp 54.56% or N163,651,140,779.25 while recurrent expenditure takes home 45.44% amounting to N136,312,350,743.21 of the total estimates.

Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has flagged off COVID-19 vaccination for residents of the Territory, just as she declared the safety of the vaccine.

Seven state Governors and one Deputy Governor graced the unveiling ceremony which was performed during the Nigerien President's visit to Nigeria. The unveiling was performed by the visiting President himself last week.

Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, who flagged off the programme last week in Gwagwalada, affirmed that the initiative was a strategy to enhance social inclusion.


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