The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N4 billion for the completion of a road connecting Kwara state and Osun states.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The minister said part of the road project was awarded by the previous administration.
“They relate first to Ajase/Epo/Offa/Erinle Road in Kwara State; that is the road that connects Kwara to Osun. The approval was for the 18 km section that completes the entire length of 26km of the road.
“All that was awarded in the previous administration was just 8 km of 26 km. So, what we have done now is to award the 18km so that the full stretch of 26km is now under contract for the purpose of completion.
“That comes to a sum of N4.027 billion for the 18km stretch; the previous contract is still going on; so, this is an addendum to that contract,” he said.
He said that the contract, awarded in 2012, was not funded, stressing that the present administration has done 76 percent of the entire project.
“What we awarded today was a variation of N825million. This is to expand the original contract by three kilometers link up to Osogbo town– the built up section because it is supposed to by-pass the town.
“So, this the 3.4km that the governor requested when I went on the nation-wide road tour that we should help them connect it to Osogbo town.
“So, going through procurement and all of that we finally got the approval today for N825 million to include that part,’’ he said.
The minister also told journalists that trucks that carried 60,000 to 90,000 tonnes of goods had adverse impact on roads as the roads were not designed for such tonnage.
He said efforts were being made to ensure that there was enforcement from the loading points- the ports, deports.
“The weights and measures were used from point of origin to ensure that no vehicles exceeds 45,000 tons which is the approved axle load nationwide.
“As long as we continue to exceed and abuse with excess axle load there is no design that you will do that will last. Of course, we also have a problem; most of the heavy cargo that we haul by road, no nation does it. They use rail.
“That is why I remain continuously optimistic and excited at what transportation is doing and what government plans to do with rail because that will be part of the final contribution to long lasting roads,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. Mr Sabo Nanono, said the council has approved N244 million for the purchase of raw materials for production of vaccine for use against animal diseases, poultry and dogs, among others, at the Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, in Plateau state.
“Many of you are aware of the Veterinary Research Institute which has been in existence for a long time probable before independence. It has been a centre for research and production of animal husbandry and also for the production of vaccines,’’ he said.