Kidnapping, ritual killing and armed robbery have hampered the progress of some ongoing federal road projects in Kogi, Mr Kajogbola-Jimoh Olatunde, the Federal Controller of Works in the state, has said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the controller made this known while briefing the Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Suleiman Zarma, who was on assessment visit on roads, housing and power projects in the state.
Olatunde said that the challenges had affected the dualisation of Lokoja-Benin Road, including the Obajana Junction-Okene section of the road handled by M/s CGC Nigeria Ltd.
NAN reports that the contract was awarded at the cost of N30.5 billion on Dec. 3, 2012, but was revised in October 2014.
The controller disclosed that the serious security challenges were mostly around Lokoja and Okene towns.
“The contractor is requesting for protection for the staff, plant and equipment. The expatriates’ staff members are being kept in Abuja, they occasionally go to the site under very tight security.
“This is affecting the construction of sensitive part of this project like bridges.
“Another location affected by these challenges was the rehabilitation of Ilorin-Kabba-Obajana Road, especially from Egbe-Kabba handled by CGC Nigeria Ltd.
The controller told the minister that the contractor had made appreciable progress when the project started in 2014, but had to suspend work in February 2015 due to the security challenges.
“The contractor was briefly on site in November 2017 to undertake the construction of concrete lined drains threatening lives of Ayietoro Gbede community members.
“Also she has indicated the company’s preparedness to remobilise fully to site if the security situation improves.”
On the rehabilitation of Okene-Ajeokuta-Itobe Road, the controller said the slow progress was also due to the security challenges and called for more protection for the workers.
The minister pledged that funding for the projects and security to the contractors would be reinforced at the various project sites.
Zarma stressed that the Federal Government was committed to completing all infrastructure projects across the country, adding that the Okene Bypass which had gone far would be completed in good time. (NAN)