By Salisu Sani-Idris
Residents of the Federal Capital Territory have called for the completion of the Apo-Karshi road before the expiration of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
They made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja, saying the contractor handling the project should be mobilised back to site.
The Apo-Karshi Road project was awarded to Kakatar Limited, an indigenous company, in 2011, with a completion period of 20 months; Eleven years after the project has yet to be completed.
Malam Hussein Ahmed, who works at a federal ministry in Garki, told NAN that government should consider the plight of commuters by completing it this time around.
‘’I came to the Nyanya axis of the city in 2015 with the firm assurance from government that the road is a priority contract that will be completed before the end of the year.
‘’We are in the end of 2022 and the road is not completed. The tool the daily exhaustion is taking on us is heavy on our health and work.
Mr Silas Nwachukwu, a timber dealer at Kugbo, told NAN that the congestion had led to many mishaps on the road which has caused many deaths and loss of properties.
‘’Over the years, accident on this axis has always been fatal especially during the rush hour. The accidents are enough for government to complete this alternative road. The vehicular congestion on this road can make someone go mental,’’ he said.
An engineer, who pleaded anonymity, said that the only way to address the congestions on the Nyanya road is the construction of an alternative.
He said that every new administration, since the time of former President Goodluck Jonathan, had been promising to complete the road.
‘’The Abuja Masterplan did not envisage this large population following the same route at the same time. Civil servants and other residents follow this same road when going and coming back from work.
”The Buhari administration should take the bull by the horn and complete this road to its glory. This is also a way of ensuring good working environment to workers.
‘’Before the government move its offices away from the city centre to other area councils, the Apo-Karshi road must be completed.
‘’In my opinion, the Apo-Karshi road should even be made a dual carriage way in order to address future expansions in the territory,’’ he said.
The site engineer of Kakatar, Chris Ihedigbo, said that the company was constrained in completing the project because of the high cost of things in the market.
He said that Kakatar was ready to finish the project the moment the FCT Administration agreed to the adjustment in the cost of the project.
Ihedigbo added that the company was, however, faithful that the variation would be done soon, adding that it was the reason they are back on site even during the holidays.
‘’As you can see, we are working on the site today being a public holiday. We have been given the assurance that the government intended to complete the project before leaving office in May.
”We have come a long with this project and I am assuring you that the moment we get the variation, this project will be completed in 90 days.
‘’The biggest hurdle was the huge hills that constituted an obstruction to the road. This has been cut into and work will begin in earnest. In spite of the level of work, some resident have been using it like that.
‘’It is not our intention to delay the completion, but the challenges are way beyond us. We suffered losses to our equipment by vandals in the course of the work.
‘’Armed persons have been wreaking havoc by coming in the night to steal expensive parts of our equipment which are worth millions of Naira,’’ he said.(NAN)
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz