Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says the Federal Government is intensifying efforts to complete the ongoing Numan-Cham section of the Gombe-Yola highway.
Fashola, represented by Mr Funsho Adebiye, Director, Federal Highways Construction and Rehabilitation, made these remarks during an on-the-spot assessment of the project in Numan on Thursday.
The minister expressed optimism on the quality of work, assuring that the project would soon be completed.
“The purpose of the site visit is to have a closer look at the critical section of the road, to examine the challenges confronting the work and find ways of solving the problem.
“Among the challenges, we identified causing the delay of the project include insecurity, bad soil (clay) on the side near Savannah and watery areas.
“So far, 17.4 kilometres from the critical section had been covered and the remaining 28.9 kilometres would not take a long time to be completed,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes the minister as saying.
He stressed that the government and the contractor had reached an agreement for the company to deploy another team from Cham at Gombe end to complete the work in time.
The Deputy Project Manager of CCG Ltd, Mr Simon Omale, complained to the visiting team about the lack of prompt payment.
Omale said that the delay in payment of the contractor was the major factor behind the slow pace of work on the project.
“If the government can guarantee our payment, we promise to complete this project within a possible short time,’’ Omale said.
NAN reports that the contract for the road project was awarded in 2017 for about N9 billion.
In 2020, the Federal Government added another N7.6 billion for the ‘urgent’ rehabilitation of the road.
NAN also reports that the road, linking Gombe and Adamawa states, had been in deplorable condition for many years.