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Dave Umahi: We Will Install Street Lamps, CCTV Cameras on Nigerian Highways 

“We want the private sector to get involved, and we are proposing weighbridges to control the weights on the roads.”

Nigeria’s Minister of Works, David Umahi, has said that he is emphasizing the need for all hands to be on deck in the supervision of projects. “It is the duty of every Nigerian, especially when the job is being carried out without your domain, to participate in the supervision. “

 He says the government will release the money for these jobs but may not be able to give 100 percent supervision.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, David Umahi said that FERMA should let the commissioners of work be part of the evaluation of the jobs they plan to do.

 “If you are doing a job, can we get the users to be part of the numeration and the certificate when the job is done so that everyone complains less to the federal government?”

He spoke about the tasks before the Ministry of Works, especially roads that need to be fixed and are in the works already. He says he is satisfied with the quality of the roads and the speed at which the road work is coming along.

Umahi says the major problem with Nigerian roads in Nigeria is maintenance, and his ministry would like private investors to get involved. He spoke about getting light poles on the highway that could also carry CCTV cameras.

The Minister of Works says any road can be fixed but needs money, and the economy the new administration inherited needs to thinking outside the box which his ministry is doing.

He says he wants to empower both expatriates and local contractors in the building of roads. He says most of the roads built in Nigeria are gone within 3 years, and this needs to be fixed.

David Umahi says all he wants is commitment from contractors, and Nigerians need to get value for the money paid for these jobs. 

Furthermore, he says the bitumen development in Ondo State will make things easier with less importation and will further create jobs as “manufacturers of cement cannot meet up with the road demands when construction starts.” He says “There is so much pressure on the naira, and by using concrete, we reduce the pressure on the naira,” as there is so much fluctuation in the international petroleum product, and bitumen is a by-product of petroleum.

He mentioned some emergency bridges that need to be attended to in the country, saying that “the third mainland bridge has been closed against heavy trucks because there are some deflections on the cantilever sections of the slab. We cannot reverse it but can make up.”

In concluding his interview, the minister said what the ministry is doing to mitigate suicide on bridges is “mounting CCTV cameras both under and on the deck of the bridge.” He said he has discussed this with the governor of Lagos State, including adding stations where the CCTV cameras are being monitored. “If we see someone aimlessly approaching the bridge, the security in that area will be able to arrest the situation.”

-Catherine Amaga

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