Contractors handling the rehabilitation of the Apapa/Ijora roads in Lagos are reportedly facing challenges in relocating gas pipelines and underground electric cables in the area to enable the work progress smoothly.
The relocation of the facilities came with additional costs that were not factored into the initial budget, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Usman, said during a chat with journalists in Lagos.
The rehabilitation of the two-kilometre wharf-Apapa road started in July and is being handled by the NPA in collaboration with the Dangote Group and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc.
The project estimated to cost N4.5bn, according to the managing director of the NPA has had to be re-valued to take into consideration the cost of relocating the pipelines and electric cables constituting obstruction to the work.
She said, “I was at the site some weeks ago and we observed that the gas pipelines were obstructing the work. It was agreed that the pipelines had to be relocated.
“They have moved from one stage of the job to the other and the challenge now is with the relocation of the facilities.”
Usman said she had communicated the challenge to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, adding that the minister was looking at the bill of quantities with a view to including the cost components of the relocation in the budget.
The NPA boss said that several letters had also been written to the minister regarding budgetary provisions for all the access roads to the ports, adding, “We wanted the ministry to provide clarity on budgetary provisions for all access roads that lead to the ports.
“We had made provisions for the repair of a bridge in Cross River State that does not allow large containers to pass and other issues relating to access roads into the ports but none of these things has been done because it needs to go through budgetary process.
“We need to have the budget so that the NPA can draw from one purse and fund projects along our port access roads. That is what informed the NPA providing N1.8bn for the construction of the Wharf roads. It is not under our purview, it is not our responsibility but it got to a stage where we could not but provide the funds for the work.”
She said in a meeting held with contractors in charge of the Apapa road reconstruction that they had wanted to do a smaller road that had no drainage but she had objected.
“We said it had to be done right; if the gap is higher than N1.8bn, the NPA is willing to provide the balance to make sure the work is done properly.
“We are working with the ministry to see what can be done to ensure that these roads are reconstructed and the NPA is available to see how it can promote funding support for the execution of all port access roads.”