Apo-Karshi road: Minister slams FCDA officials, says project handling a shame
By; Evelyn Dadu, Abuja.
It was a show of shame for the engineers of the Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD), under the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and the contractor handling the construction of Apo-Karshi-Ara road on Tuesday as the FCT Minister Mohammed Musa Bello slammed them during an inspection tour of the the alternative route, meant to ease congestion at the Nyanya-Maraba road.
The Minister was told earlier that the 13.2kilometer road project was 60 per cent completed but when he visited the site, he found out the information was not true.
The contract was awarded in 2011 by Senator Bala Mohammed led administration at the cost of N6.4billion, out of which N2.3billion was paid to the contractor handling the project; Kakatar C. Limited.
The Minister therefore lampooned the authorities and engineers of the Satellite Towns Development Department (STDD), under the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) for failing to ensure proper handling of the prolonged Karshi-Ara and extension of Karshi-Apo road projects.
Mallam Bello who was visibly shocked by the appalling progress of work done by the contractors handling the projects, soundly tongue-lashed the FCDA officials for obvious negligence on their part, contributing to the projects remaining under construction for four years with very little result to show.
Describing the situation as a shame, the Minister said the much talked about Apo-Karshi road projects, expected to ease the reoccurring nightmarish traffic gridlock on the Abuja-Keffi expressway, is an abstract construction from nowhere to nowhere.
“I’m delighted to visit and see for myself the very popular Apo – Karshi road which had been very much talked about. I have seen an “abstract construction from nowhere to nowhere, a sign of what has been wrong with us as a people. I am very disappointed”.
“I don’t understand how it will take the entire Engineers in the FCDA and an upcoming contractor like this one up to four years to construct a 13 kilometre road. It’s an embarrassment, a shame to us all.
“Having heard all, I weep for our situation; the contractor was initially unwilling to handle the project, the project had no design, it was not designed to Apo from Karshi initially, but was initially designed from Karshi to Wassa community.”
The construction of the road would be the solution to the traffic gridlock on Nyanya and Karu road, leading into the Federal Capital City, (FCC).
In the same vein, the villagers, who came to welcome the Minister, decried that the prolonged road project has subjected them to untold hardship, while trying to gain access to the city centre.
The villagers, who spoke through their leader Usman Ishaku, passionately appealed to the minister to come to their aid, by doing everything possible towards the completion of the access road projects.
Earlier, Engr. Soso Mohammed, Director STDD, disclosed that the 13kilometre project in all was awarded for the sum of N6.4 billion, and N2.3 billion has been paid the contractor.
The Director, who explained that the contract was awarded since 2011, said the project was captured in the 2016 budget proposal, urged the contractor to work harder to complete the road.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Projects, Dakoru Atukda, attributed the abysmal state of the projects to shortage of funds and hitches from sundry issues like compensation and unforeseen hindrances in the terrain.
Dakoru, who lamented that the company was doing the job at no profit, following the addition of Karshi-Apo extension to the original contract, however assured that with the needed cash backing, it will fast-track work on the projects and complete it in no distant time.