The Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, has announced a ban on the use of laterite as a base in road construction.
He directed that henceforth, contractors should use lumps, sharp sand and stone base to form the base before laying of concrete or asphalt pavement.
The Minister gave this directive while inaugurating a committee for the supervision of the Reconstruction of Benin – Warri dual carriageway and the dualization of East – West Road, Port Harcourt – Onne Port junction road in Rivers State.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Director (Information), Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Lere-Adams Blessing, in Abuja, on Friday.
According to her, Umahi noted that laterite has a limited load bearing capacity, susceptible to erosion and weathering especially in areas with heavy rainfall and this can lead to degradation of the road surface overtime, maintenance challenge and does not last long.
She quoted the Minister as saying, “We are giving very serious attention to the roads between Benin and Warri. The road between Eleme and Onne Port, we are mindful of the site conditions of these roads, the water conditions and the boreholes instead of pot holes on these roads.
“No more laterite, contractors are now to use lumps, sharp sand and stone base in place of laterite.”
The Minister also directed the newly inaugurated Road Taskforce Team that there must be a continuous maintenance of all the roads under construction until the end of the project.
He enjioned them to ensure that the contractors are duly informed of the development, and that they should remember that the ministry is under a matching order given by Mr. President, to fix Nigerian roads for the citizens to have ease of movement from one location to the other.
Umahi said, “The committee must implement the contract agreement with maintenance culture as key. Committee members are to monitor the contractors closely to make sure things are done right.
“Our contractors can now understand that we are not insisting that things have to change without a reason, but that the society is demanding for sustainability and integrity of the work they are doing.”
Umahi disclosed that road infrastructure is one of the key factors for the revolution of our commerce, education, security and power in this country and that Mr. President is committed to our road infrastructure improvement and thus the Ministry is on a mission to uphold the renewed hope agenda of this administration on road infrastructure provision.