Rise in the cost of construction of Lagos- Ibadan expressway

The construction cost for the section one of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, stretching from Lagos to Sagamu Interchange has risen to N134bn, the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti, has said.

Kuti stated this at the opening of barricaded construction zones at Asese and Mowe sections of the road to motorists on Tuesday morning.

He said the costs rose due to the additional works expected to be carried out on section one of the road that were not in the original plan.

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Kuti said, “The initial contract sum of this project was N70bn but with additional work introduced, the figure rose to N134bn for the section one which is the Lagos-Sagamu axis. There has also been an increase in the time the project will be completed

“It was supposed to be completed in 2017 but we now have to incorporate underpasses, flyovers and toll plazas and with additional work, the date has shifted to about 2021. But what we are saying is that what we experienced in the past due to funding will not happen again.”

He explained that the Federal Government had set aside funds for the road which he said it considered a priority.

“I’m aware the Federal Government set aside about $650m to complete Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway; parts of East-West Road; Mambilla Plateau; and the Second Niger Bridge. The figure is growing, it may have risen to $1bn,” he said.

According to Kuti, with the funds in place, there will be no form of slow down on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, outside weather.

He said the parts of the road would be closed for construction again in January, adding that the parts of the road, which were closed for several weeks, were opened to ease travellers’ movements during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The controller said motorists should obey traffic rules and regulations as would be given by officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps.

Kuti also stated that palliative works had commenced on the Lagos-Badagry Road to ease movement during the festive period.

The Project Manager, Julius Berger, Thomas Christl, said the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project was suspended due to funding and restarted in June.

He said two sections were opened for construction with a promise to make those parts available for use during Christmas and New Year.

“We are aware of the concerns of motorists and we are doing everything we can to minimise it. At the completion of the road, the gridlock would be addressed,” Christl said.

 

Goodnews for East-bound travellers on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

As part of efforts to reduce travel time and ease hardship suffered by travelers on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the federal government has temporarily opened the section one of the expressway, stretching from Lagos toll gate to Shagamu Interchange.

The expressway which appears to be in perpetual reconstruction has garnered notoriety for frequent motor accidents which have claimed many lives.

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Adedamola Kuti, the federal controller of works in Lagos, explained that the reconstruction of the expressway is benefiting from the federal government’s over $600 million infrastructure fund.

It is expected that the opening of the express way would save both time and money for motorists and travelers as well.

Idris Adebayo, a motorist who spoke to journalists at the opening this morning, hoped that he would be saving about two hours travel time from Lagos to Abeokuta which used to take four to five hours on a ‘good’ day.

Source: Chuka Uroko

Pen Cinema flyover ready by May-Contractor

The Contractor handling construction work on the Pen Cinema fly-over bridge project, HITECH Construction Company Limited, has assured residents of completing the road by May 2019.

Project Manager on site, Mr. Willie Barkhuisen disclosed this during a technical visit to the construction site by members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Ikeja Branch and officials of the Lagos Ministry of Works and Infrastructure.

He explained that about 264 pile works needed for the project has been successfully put in place saying that when the project is completed; it has the capacity to last for more than 50 years.

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The 1.4km Flyover, which runs from Agege to the Abeokuta Expressway, is expected to address the perennial traffic often associated with the Agege community.

Mr. Barkhuisen said, “We will endeavour to deliver it by May next year. We sourced material like cement locally, got others from overseas. 85 per cent of the materials were locally sourced”.

He commended the community for their support, describing it as,’ The best so far seen”.

Speaking on the tour, the chairman of Ikeja branch of NSE, Mrs. Olufunmilade Akingbagbohun commended the Lagos State government for initiating the project, stressing that the visit was to look at the quality of work and certify the bridge for use by residents.

Akingbagohun said the project is also a sort of exposure for members because apart from the Lagos State engineers that are on the project, there is a consultant working on it who is from Germany and so it is an opportunity to learn new ideas/ innovations .

“We decided to bring in our members to contribute our quota to what the Lagos state government is doing. Most of our registered engineers are also working on the project to ensure that we have bridge that wouldn’t collapse.

“Engineers are distributed to different projects within the metropolis, we have some working on the Pen Cinema project and others on Airport Road reconstruction works as well as the hinterlands. We are impressed with the quality of the works and the local content put into the project. We are happy to know that there are bye-passes that would ease the traffic and bring a lasting solution to the people of Agege and people from Abule Egba area”, she added.

Also, a representative of the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Mrs. Abiola Kosegbe, said the project when completed, would bring economic relief and improve property value in Agege.

Urban Shelter hosts dinner party in honour of Dr Chii Akporji

Urban Shelter limited yesterday, held a befitting Dinner Party in honour of Dr Chii Akporji, the immediate past Executive Director of Policy, Strategy & Partnerships at Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company Plc. (NMRC).

The event, which was held at Hawthorn Suites, Abuja, was well attended by CEOs of Real Estate Development companies, stakeholders in the housing sector, captains of industry, family, friends and well-wishers in general, as invitees turned out in large numbers to honour Dr Chii Akporji, for her immense contribution to not just housing finance, but to the housing sector in general.

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Welcoming the honouree and guests to the event, the General Manager of Urban Shelter Limited, Engr Bashir Abba, in his address, thanked Dr Chii, for her contributions to NMRC and by extension, the Nigerian Housing market. Speaking about Dr Chii, Engr Abba noted the role she played in coordinating the operationalization of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), set up to grow the primary and secondary mortgage markets in Nigeria.

He added that Urban Shelter, has always partnered with people like Dr Chii, and companies like the NMRC to provide housing for all, both for people at the top and low-cost housing for low income earners.

The Chief Host and Chairman of Urban Shelter Limited, Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu, during his special remarks expressed gratitude to the honouree, on behalf of Urban Shelter Limited, for her dedication in discharging her duties to NMRC, and for her knowledge and ideas in the areas of housing finance, mortgage and development finance, he further wished her well in her new endeavour and affirmed his commitment to continue to collaborate with her on issues of housing whenever the need arises.

Dr. Chii Akporji, during her remarks, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to serve and highlighted some of the achievements of NMRC during her time, like signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kaduna State government, in it’s efforts to facilitate affordable home ownership for its citizens, partnering with the state government in the  adoption and passage of the draft Kaduna Mortgages Foreclosure Bill based on NMRC’s Model Mortgage and Foreclosure Law among others.

She also commended the past and current Managing Director of the NMRC for creating the enabling environment and offering the needed support for ensuring that NMRC lived true to its founding mandate to empower the mortgage market to be innovative and credible, in support of the Nigerian housing sector.

Affa Dickson Acho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FMBN highlights key achievements of 2018

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) says it has processed N12.4 billion refunds to contributors of the National Housing Fund scheme and registered 224,752 to the fund in 2018.

A statement signed by Mrs Zubaida Umar, the Group Head, Corporate Communications, FMBN said that FMBN Managing Director,Mr Musa Dangiwa, disclosed this during an oversight visit by the Senate Committee on Housing to FMBN headquarters, Abuja Highlighting some of the key achievements of the bank in the last one year, Dangiwa said it had disbursed housing loans totaling N40.9 billion to 1,843 NHF contributors. Dangiwa said that the bank also provided Home Renovation Loans totaling N14.072 billion to 16,031 Nigerian workers.

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He also listed FMBN innovative housing products to tackle housing affordability challenge which included rent-to-own scheme, where contributors could own a home and pay monthly or yearly rents over a 30-year period. He said another product was the NHF Individual Housing Construction loans that could be payable over a 15-year period at interest rates of seven per cent. “Another notable one is the reduction of equity contribution requirements for accessing NHF loans from 10 to zero per cent for sums of up to N5 million and 20, 30 per cent to 10 per cent for loans of up to N15million.

On the way forward, the FMBN boss said that the bank would continue ongoing efforts to fully automate its business operations to improve efficiency and timeliness in the delivery of its services to Nigerian workers. He said that a key component of this strategic policy was achieving end-to-end automation of all its operations ranging from NHF collection, loan processing, issuance of statement of accounts, NHF refunds amongst others. Dangiwa thanked the Senate Committee for its unprecedented support of the bank, especifically for the accelerated hearing and passage of the NHF and FMBN Amendment bills, which are now ready for the president’s assent.

The Committee Chairman, Sen. Barnabas Gemade, commended the landmark strides recorded by the management of FMBN in its efforts to reform and reposition the bank. Gemade lauded the ability of the management to create a professional work culture and the sustained push for the N500 billion recapitalisation of the institution. He said this led to the passage of the NHF and FMBN amendment bills by the National Assembly; and the development of innovative housing products to cater for unique needs of workers.

The chairman cited the bank’s aggressive drive to leverage technology toward increasing transparency and accountability in the operations of the bank. Gemade said that in the two years of carrying out their constitutional role to supervise and oversight the bank, members had noted a strong sense of direction and accountability by the management. “In the past two years, we have seen tremendous turnaround in terms of management and organisation of this agency. Driver, 25, docked for allegedly forging employer’s bank signature

“This gives us a sense of comfort that whatever investment government has made, and whatever appropriation the Nigerian people have committed here, either directly or through government is in safe hands.” Urging the management to keep up the good work, he called on stakeholders to support their efforts to strengthen the bank for even greater impact.

Increase in local content will decrease fatalities in the construction industry

With 50 per cent of fatalities on construction sites attributed to weak scaffolding, wrong formwork placement and poor training, experts in the construction industry said inclusiveness and increase in local content would significantly reduce the trend.

They stressed that local content would also groom entrepreneurs, creates employment opportunities in construction and other sectors of the economy.

The experts, who spoke at the 25th anniversary celebration of Construction Kaiser Limited (CKL), an indigenous construction firm in Lagos, with the theme, “breaking new grounds”, noted that local content is attainable if indigenes are encouraged to have a substantial share and opportunity in the management and ownership of companies in the nation’s construction industry.

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Expounding on the theme, “Breaking New Grounds”, Okaisabor said it has become very necessary that more Nigerians establish and grow construction companies that could work with high standards and at lower price which would ultimately eliminate the overheads associated with keeping expatriates in the country.

According to him, encouraging local content in the industry would encourage efficiency and healthy competition; improve safety and quality management system; increase collaboration and inclusiveness; grow sustainability and help solve socio-economic issues.

“It would further assist in foreign exchange savings, which in turn would strengthen the Naira with the participation of improved indigenous workers in the industry”.

“Collaboration is the way to go. We understand that it would create assess to knowledge and people, effectiveness, efficiency, innovation, human resource development, long term stability, impact, reputation and credibility.

“Introducing inclusiveness is important because we believe that sustainability can only occur when there is inclusiveness. The ability to engage individuals, irrespective of gender, tribe or religion in the society in a common goal”, he added.

On her part, Okoaru identified lack of trust for indigenous firms and bad business environment/policies as major threatening forces against indigenous firms.

She commended the firm for its achievements and urged them to remain focused, grow partnerships and embrace latest innovations in the industry.

“Believe in yourself and improve quality service through people with the right attitude, passion and skills. Manage your success and keep pushing for good standards. Understand your terrain while paying attention to conquering beyond the geographical boundaries of Nigeria”, she added.

21-day ultimatum for FG to resolve Apapa Gridlock

The Apapa Government Reserved Area Residents Association has given the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum to clear all bridges and roads in the area of trucks to ease movement.

The residents on Friday told journalists that unless urgent steps were taken to resolve the traffic problems, they would mobilise and shut down the area completely.

The President of the association, Brig. Gen. Sola Ayo-Vaughan (retd), said the traffic congestion which had turned Apapa and other parts of the Lagos metropolis into one huge parking lot was as a result of government’s lack of planning and will to enforce its laws and policies.

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He noted that the continuous queues of trucks and tankers blocking the entire network of intersecting roads, bringing traffic in all directions to a standstill were no longer acceptable.

Ayo-Vaughan stated that the problem which was within Apapa had snowballed into a Lagos traffic, making movement in the area and its environs a nightmare.

He said, “The bridges which were built to facilitate movement of vehicles have been converted into a permanent parking lot for trailers and tankers, restricting vehicular movement. Turning bridges into a parking lot is unacceptable anywhere in the world because of the inherent danger that may consequently cause calamity.

“The government has been warned of the looming danger which is inevitable if this practice continues. It is a matter of time. It is worthy to note that government officials and the Chief Executive Officers of the companies, government parastatals operating in Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports do not reside in Apapa.”

According to Ayo-Vaughan, the government agencies and shipping companies operating in the area are aware of the situation but do not care because of the financial benefits they derive from it.

He alleged that shipping companies were feeding fat on unearned container deposit and demurrage while terminal operators were having a field day collecting crazy storage charges from importers by restricting trucks in ports under the guise of no network.

He added that truckers were also benefitting from the chaos by hiking their rates from N70, 000 within Lagos to N600, 000.

“Residents and workers in Apapa are in this mess alone and if we don’t stand up for ourselves, nothing will happen. Anything short of physical mobilisation at this point will be meaningless.  The Apapa gridlock is man-made and we are pressed beyond measures to do something about it,” he said.

“It is our belief that the government and its agencies in connivance with shipping companies deliberately refused to implement the policies meant to keep the trucks off our roads to force us out and turn the whole Apapa into port area,” he added.

Tanzania Awards Contract For Construction Of Massive Hydro-Electric Project

Tanzania has awarded the tender for the construction of what will become East Africa’s largest hydro electric project,the Stiegler’s Gorge dam hydro electric power project in the Selous Game Reserve. The tender for the Stiegler’s Gorge dam construction was won by a joint venture between Arab Contractors and El Sewedy Electric and on an EPC(Engineering, Procurement and Construction) basis.

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With a price tag of US$3bn, East Africa’s largest hydro project will generate 2,100 MW of electricity which will be sufficient to meet Tanzania’s needs and for export, as well turning the country from energy deficiency and offering cheap energy for its industrial and domestic needs. The government of Tanzania has allocated US$304mn towards the project in 2018/19 budget.

The retaining wall of East Africa’s largest hydro project will be built across Stiegler’s Gorge on the Rufiji river and submerge part of the expansive 50,000 square kilometer Selous Game Reserve. The project will take 36 months to complete and begin generating power in April 2022.

Both El Sewedy Electric and Arab Contractors the JV partners are Egyptian companies. The former specializes in the production of various energy related products from cables to transformers while Arab Contractors is a major construction company with operations n various countries in Africa and the Middle East.

In an EPC project the JV contractors will design, carryout all procurement and then construct and commission the Stiegler’s Gorge dam project before handing over the project.

 

Why FG is not responsible for power shortage-Fashola

If you don’t have electricity, it is not the Federal Government’s problem, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has declared.

Fashola, who disclosed this while speaking at the Nextier Power Dialogue on Wednesday night in Abuja, told his listeners that there were problems in the power sector, but reminded them that it was not the Federal Government’s problem if citizens in the country do not have electricity, especially since the sector was privatised.

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He said, “There are problems without a doubt and we must deal with them. But let me remind you, all of the assets that the Ministry of Power used to control for power have been sold by the last administration before I came. And so if you don’t have power, it is not the government’s problem. Let us be honest.

“The people who are operating the power sector, generation and distribution are now privately owned companies. I am here because I am concerned. If your telephone is not working, it is not the minister of communication that you go to. Let us be very clear.”

The minister added, “So for those of you who want to weaponise electricity, face the businessmen who have taken it up. Let us be honest. If your bank over-charges you interest, is it the minister of finance you go to? So let’s be clear. This is now a private business by Act of parliament 2005.

“My role is regulatory, oversight and policy, but I have a problem which is the fact that I can’t see a problem and turn my back, so I’m getting involved. So the people you should be talking to about transformers is not me, the ministry doesn’t supply transformers anymore.”

Fashola further defended his position after another participant at the dialogue insisted that the minister supervises the ministry and that the Gencos and Discos were players under the FMPWH.

Taking a cue from the analogy given by the participant while answering the question asked, the minister said, “I think that NERC (Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission) is the referee of the game. I am FIFA (Federation of International Football Association). And it is not right as you said that FIFA gets involved, because whether the referee makes a mistake or not the goal stands

“So the FIFA man does not enter the field to say go and change the result, but it’s an interesting analogy that I’ve also contemplated in my head and that’s why you didn’t catch me by too much surprise. However, it is important to allow the referee to continue to decide the game because investors like to know who decides.”

Affa Dickson Acho

More Nigerians now engaged in construction sites than foreigners – Fashola

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has disclosed that over 50,000 Nigerians are now engaged in 77 works and 50 housing construction sites across the country, while only 277 foreigners are working in the sites. According to Fashola, the figures are contained in the “Inception Report” the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing recently commissioned to “ascertain the number of foreigners employed on those sites and whether they have work permits for the work they are undertaking”.

Fashola disclosed this on Thursday in a speech titled: “Solid Infrastructural Backbone – A Catalyst for National and Sustainable Development,” which he delivered at Sheraton Hotels, Lagos during the 2018 Nigerian Infrastructure Development Awards Night and the unveiling of  Nigerian Infrastructure Development Magazine.
Fashola, who won the NIDA 2018 “Icon of National Infrastructure Development” Award, was represented at the occasion by Engr. Funsho Adebiyi, Director of Highways, South West.
“The Ministry has now commissioned a more detailed audit of all sites and we await the results and findings,” he stated.
The Minister explained that “while Government welcomes foreigners and investors, we expect that like in all law abiding countries, foreigners can only work after obtaining work permit.”
He explained further that while Nigeria took loans from overseas to execute some projects, “we did not sign away the rights of Nigerians to benefits from such projects”.
The Chairman of the occasion, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, who commended the organizers of NIDA Awards, said in his speech that infrastructure development of Nigeria is very critical and an issue that should be of concern to all.
Durojaiye said: “No nation develops above the level of infrastructural resources available to her.”
He also called for vibrant private and public sector players to partner in driving infrastructural revolution in order to fast track development on the country.
He said: We need more public budget investments, foreign capital and creative funding avenues to achieve this goal speedily as we cannot afford to be observers.
“As an emerging economy with growing population, we have to take the need to improve on our various infrastructure very seriously.”
In his welcome remarks, the Chairman of NIDA and Managing Director of Prospers Strategy Limited, Lanre Alabi, said the issue of infrastructure is very vital to national development as the state of infrastructure is a key determinant to gauge the health of nation.
Alabi explained: “NIDA was established to honour corporate organisations, government agencies and individuals who have made huge and outstanding impact in the Nigerian infrastructural development sector over the years.”
He added that with the debut of the first Nigerian Infrastructural Development focused magazine, a public platform to raise the bar on infrastructural awareness has been created.
He said: “The publication offers a credible avenue for both the public and private sector players to share ideas and to imbibe best practices that have helped other economies on infrastructure development.”
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