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FG to design 70% of Nigerian roads on concrete — Umahi

The Federal Government has said that it is transitioning from asphalt to concrete in the construction of highways across the country.

Speaking when he led federal legislators and top government officials on a tour of a plant of KAMSTEEL Integrated Company Limited in Jimba-Oja, Ifelodun local government area of Kwara state, the Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, said that 70 per cent of federal highways are being designed on concrete to elongate their lifespan after construction and commissioning for public use.

“If you think of all the roads we are constructing in Nigeria, we are moving from asphalt to concrete for over 70 per cent of our roads. In fact, all the roads we are designing now are being designed on concrete,” Umahi said.

The minister, who was elated with the magnitude of the KAMSTEEL plant and the employment opportunities it has created, directed contractors working on the federal government’s construction projects to patronise top-class local manufacturers for construction materials.

He said that the patronage of local manufacturers would help provide jobs, generate revenue for the government, help minimise the insatiable quest for foreign products at the expense of locally made materials and in turn safeguard the nation’s currency.

“What we have seen here is a kind of what you see in China and India, and we are so impressed with the massive scale clubbed with modern technology used to produce international quality products. It is something of great hope for Nigeria. Because in having a road with concrete, we must reinforce technology, and you will see the multiplier effect.

“And so, it is going to be in line with the agenda of the man of hope, courage and destiny, President Bola Tinubu, which he has brought to us. A lot of our contractors are already using locally produced construction materials. From what I have seen today, and also the files that my directors revealed, we have no hesitation in directing our contractors, almost all, to promote made-in-Nigeria construction materials.

“We are doing asphalt road, some of our asphalt roads don’t last more than five years. And so with the concrete technology and with every raw material, every ingredient of road pavement sourced locally, a great value for taxpayers’ money.

“So, we are going to support local manufacturers and even get our presence. If need be, we will even specify it in our procurement for contractors to source materials locally so that we meet the highest quality for our bridges,” the minister said.

The group managing director of KAM Holdings Limited, Dr Kamoru Yusuf, who conducted the minister round the factory, said his firm is determined to ensure standards in all its products.

Yusuf said that his major preoccupation was for products coming from the company to meet the international standard, adding that the company’s prime product, Elephant TMT is export grade UKCARES certified product being used for heavy construction activities like high-rise buildings, mega bridges, dams, etc.

“We are determined to make the end users have value for what they are paying for, and that is our mission in the country. We are very sure that any contractors that use our products, always have good testimonies to say about us,” Yusuf said.

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