The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Alhaji Muazu Sambo, says the Federal Government has made a provision of N3bn Sukuk funds in 2022 to finance the reconstruction of the Numan-Jalingo Road in Adamawa and Taraba states.
Sambo announced this on Saturday during an inspection of federal road projects in Taraba and Adamawa states.
He assured that once the Sukuk funds were accessed, within a short time, there would be a remarkable progress in the road project.
“The 103-kilometre Numan-Jalingo Road is part of the Maiduguri-Calabar Highway.
“The section of the road, which is not motorable, is not acceptable for a road that is the only connection between the North and South in the north-eastern axis of the country,” he said.
The minister, however, conceded that he would not blame the contractor for the slow pace of work.
According to him, it was due to the insufficient budgetary provisions in the past and COVID-19 pandemic that affected the progress of work.
Sambo, however, said that with the current funding arrangement, the contractor was expected to become more serious on the construction work.
He, however, warned if the company was found not to have the capacity to complete the job, the government would not hesitate to terminate the contract and re-award it to a competent contractor.
Briefing the minister on the progress of work on the road, a Senior Civil Engineer at the site, Maria Zirrah, who represented the Federal Controller of Works in Adamawa, attributed the slow pace of work on the project to insecurity, lack of construction materials and inadequate funding.
Also, Frank Koshihuk, Project Engineer, Deux Project Nigeria Ltd., contractor handling the Numan-Jalingo project, who spoke on behalf of the contractor, said that inflation, paucity of funding and insecurity were the major challenges facing the construction work.
Koshihuk promised that as soon as the funding pattern of the project improved, the work would be completed within eight months.
The minister also inspected the construction of Zing-Yakoko-Monkin Road in Taraba during his two-day working visit.
Contract for the Numan-Jalingo road rehabilitation project was awarded to Deux Project Nigeria Ltd. at the cost of N11.6 billion in March 2017, to be completed in July 2019.
However, the Federal Government has reportedly released N1.5 billion to the contractor who has executed seven per cent of the work.