Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftain and former Delta State governorship candidate, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has cautioned the Minister of Works, David Umahi, on fixing federal roads with concrete.
The business mogul urged the minister to take into consideration the differences in geographical and environmental terrains before embarking on such venture.
Onuesoke gave the advice on the backdrop of the present altercations between the minister and contractors over the usage of concrete in the construction of Federal roads across the Federation.
He recalled that some causes of road failure in Nigeria were due to stereotypical engineering design without taking the different terrains across the country into consideration.
He argued that while the minister is right with respect to the durability of concrete merge roads, he should not also forget the fact it has its own disadvantages.
The PDP Chieftain further disclosed that not until Nigeria engineers deviate from applying one particular design in the construction of roads across the country, the nation will continue to experience the problem of road failure.
Onuesoke explained that while he welcomed Umahi’s idea of concrete construction of roads, he is, however, against the argument that the same thing should be done across all the Federal roads.
“Before Umahi came on board as Minister, I have always complained against stereotype road construction as the major cause of road failure across the country. Check Vanguard Newspaper of June 21st, 2020 titled,” ROAD FAILURE: Stereotypical design to blame- Onuesoke.”
What do I mean? The road construction that is good for Auchi in Edo State will not be good for Yenagoa in Bayelsa State because of the difference in terrain.
“Now Umahi is telling us that all Federal roads will be concrete merge. We have Federal roads in Warri, Bayelsa and upland Maiduguri where there is no water.
“Why did he think of using concrete designs in the North region that has different terrain from the Niger Delta region?” Onuesoke queried.
Continuing, Onuesoke, who said he was a Project Director for 16 years explained that in road construction, there are some areas that need bitumen, nylon tiles while other areas need concrete merge because of the different terrains.
“In America, there are Federal roads with nylon tiles, asphalt or concrete. In terms of durability, concrete may be described as the best, but it all depends on the location you are putting the concretes. Concretes roads are better off in water terrain areas,” he stated.
Onuesoke, who disputed some of the claims of the minister with respect to advantages of concrete roads, further said, “the cost of building cement technology roads is twice that of asphalt. More so, while you can use asphalt roads after three hours, you can’t use concrete technology until after 28 days.
“This means it will take more years to complete such road projects. We need to look at such and many other implications too. Most importantly, is the government ready to face the cost implications?”