Despite the widespread speculations that the expansion work on the Dutse-Alhaji road may have been abandoned due to funding issues, the FCT Administration insists that the project is still ongoing.
The Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, Dr. Jibrin Umar, said the project only suffered temporal setback due to environmental challenges.
The FCDA boss, while leading some management staff on an assessment of the road, explained that the delay was informed by the incessant rain fall as well as the lock down enforced during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Umar however assured that work will resume on the site, as the agency has perfected plans to mobilize contractors back to site. According to him, work would resume on the road within the next three weeks and commitment would be made to ensure its completion.
“When we say completion, we are talking of the totality of what needs to be done here. We have some drainage works to be done and other complimentary works. But the one that will satisfy the traffic movement is something that can be done in the next two months. In the next three weeks the contractor will be mobilize here.
“It is work in progress. As you can see the contractor has worked and had to leave when the rains were very serious.
“We can never do anything when the rain is here. We are only coming to appreciate the level at which the rain has impacted on the road. Now that the rain is subsiding, the contractor has to come back and do this work in a very short time. The project is not abandoned. Everything is on cause and the contractor is on-ground,” Umar added.
Residents and motorists who spoke to The Abuja Inquirer lamented the deplorable condition of the Dutse-Bwari road. They regretted that the dualisation of the less than 2 kilometer road is just barely 50 percent completed after over a year since work began on the road.
They pointed that the returning lane from Dutse junction to Sokale round about needs urgent attention from the government as motorists can barely drive through the road especially in the raining seasons.
A motorist, Usman Adamu, believes that the lock down period was the perfect time to have completed the road expansion, since the road usually witnesses high vehicular movement on regular days.
“Apart from the fact that contractors use COVID-19 as excuse to abandon the road, every other sector of the economy have since reopened for business, so I don’t understand why anyone will use the pandemic as excuse for delay on this project.”