Road development: Dangote canvasses for roads with concrete as against asphalt

The road infrastructure remains the backbone of  social and economic activities, as economic development is closely related to the  condition of road development. Generally, roads are considered a country’s biggest public capital asset, as it can contribute immensely to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Nigeria has a national road network of about 200,000km. Of this total, federal roads make up 18 per cent (about 35,000km), State roads 15 per cent (about 17,000km), and local government roads 67 per cent (about 150,000km), with over 90 percent of the local government roads unpaved and over 50 percent unmotorable.

Experts say for Nigeria to achieve a national economic growth and development, an efficient road transport network has a critical role to play, adding that good road network across the country would greatly make positive impact in our national life. It would facilitate opening up of the rural areas, enhance investment and socio-economic activities, reduce accident rate as well as promote international perception index of Nigeria; thereby attracting Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) which is critical to economic growth.

For this reason, AG-Dangote Construction Company and other experts in the built environment have continued to clamour for a change of strategy and approach in road construction and management. Recently, the federal government and Dangote Industries flagged off the reconstruction of the roads and bridges in Ofeme Community in Abia State. The construction of the road, which will be handled by AG-Dangote, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited.

The project is covered under Executive Order #7 of 2019, titled Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, where “Participating investors will use tax credits to reduce corporate taxes payable to government until they recoup the value of their investments in roads and bridges.” Speaking at the flag off event, president/chief executive, Dangote Industries, Aliko Dangote, extolled the federal government for the executive order #7 which allows private sector intervention in the provision of critical infrastructure. Dangote who was represented by the South South Regional Director of Dangote Cement, Mr. Okoro George, said a new dawn is coming to Ofeme community as the deplorable state of their roads would soon be a thing of the past.

He explained that the 16-kilometre road will form a ring road around Ofeme and connect it at two points to the Enugu Port Harcourt Expressway while the two bridges connecting the town to other communities would be rebuilt. According to him, “the entire road network will be built on concrete pavement instead of earth pavement which gives a lifespan of about 40 years, will contain drains on both sides while the surface will be made of concrete also instead of asphalt.”

He added that AG-Dangote has established itself as a construction company of repute having delivered the 26-kilometre Ibese-Itori concrete road in Ogun State, the 2 kilometre Apapa-Wharf dual carriage concrete road, the ongoing 43-kilometre Obajana-Kabba concrete road and the 35-kilometre Apapa-Oworonshoki Expressway.

Dangote Group, he said, pioneered the use of concrete for road construction in Nigeria, adding “Countries that have achieved self-sufficiency in cement production have found it expedient to adopt the construction of concrete roads because they are cheaper, more durable and environment friendly. I believe Nigeria should not be an exception. We must move with the times.” He promised that Dangote Group is ready to partner more with government in the provision of critical infrastructure so as to lift the standard of living of the people.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, speaking at the flag off described the Ofeme Community road network reconstruction as a gigantic project that open the community and surrounding towns to development. The Minister, who was represented by Federal Controller of Works, Abia State, Engr. Nwankwo Chukwudike said the project on completion would open up access roads to manufacturing clusters in the area, reduce high cost of transportation and raise the standard of life for the people. He said movement of agriculture produce from the farming hubs will become cheaper and easier, bringing in more income.

President-general, Ofeme Progressive Union, Hon. Ndubuisi Kanu, in his welcome address, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and Dangote Group for selecting his community as one of the beneficiaries of Executive Order #7. He said, “We also use this medium to thank the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola. Our thanks and gratitude goes to Alhaji Aliko Dangote who has shown so much love to the people of Ofeme.” Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah in his remarks at the flag off said the present administration, desirous of providing critical infrastructure, enacted Executive Order #7 which involves partnering the private sector. He said the road reconstruction project is one of the many development oriented projects coming to the community. Chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote had earlier made strident calls for adoption of concrete roads in the country. He urged the federal government to embrace the option of using concrete for roads in the country. Aside from being very cheap, he said concrete roads are more durable and that its maintenance cost is near zero.

According to him, we are pushing for Nigeria to do a concrete road. It is cheaper to do a concrete road that will last over 40 years than to do a bitumen road. It will also help in eliminating corruption. The project is for the benefits of the community. It is obvious that the option for concrete roads will be the solution to solve the road infrastructural decay in the country. This is because concrete road is less expensive than asphalt road by almost 23 per cent and also we can build concrete road in less time. “Even in terms of maintenance, we don’t need so much resources to maintain it like the asphalt roads. In countries like Brazil, Portugal, India, where they use concrete roads majorly, they don’t have the type of road challenges we have in Nigeria because concrete roads can last for a minimum of 40 years as against asphalt roads that can last for between seven and eight years. So, the good option for the Nigerian government will have to be for them to embrace the use of concrete roads.”

Source: Olushola Bello

Lagos Is ‘Sixth Least Expensive City in the World’

Lagos has been ranked as the sixth cheapest city in the world to live in, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit survey.

The survey compares more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services. These include food, drink, clothing, household supplies, and personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help, and recreational costs

The report said it has some correlation with its sister ranking, the global liveability survey and thereby confirmed Lagos as being less liveable.

Caracas, Damascus, Tashkent, Almaty, and Bangalore ranked one to five respectively

“After five consecutive years of decline, oil prices bottomed out in 2016 and rebounded in 2017 and 2018, along with other commodity prices. At the very basic level, this will have an impact on prices, especially in markets where basic goods make up the bulk of the shopping basket. But there are further implications” .

The report said Oil prices will continue to weigh on economies that rely heavily on oil revenue. This could mean austerity, economic controls and weak inflation persisting in affected countries, depressing consumer sentiment, and growth.

Here is the full list of the ten cheapest cities in the world:

1. Caracas (Venezuela) 2. Damascus (Syria) 3. Tashkent (Uzbekistan) 4. Almaty (Kazakhstan) 5. Bangalore (India) 6. Karachi (Pakistan) 6. Lagos (Nigeria) 7. Buenos Aires (Argentina) 7. Chennai (India) 8. New Delhi (India)

The survey also listed the top 10 most expensive cities in the world to live in, making Paris, Singapore and Hong a Kong the most expensive city in the world.

The most expensive cities in the world are:

1. Singapore (Singapore)

2. Paris (France)

3. Hong Kong (China)

4. Zurich (Switzerland)

5. Geneva (Switzerland)

6. Osaka (Japan)

7. Seoul (South Korea)

7. Copenhagen (Denmark)

8. New York (US)

9. Tel Aviv (Israel)

10. Los Angeles (US)

Source: Premium times

Under-construction Building Collapses in India: 2 Dead, 152 Trapped

An under-construction building in the Indian city of Dharwad collapsed on 19 March claiming the lives of at least two people and leaving around 152 more trapped under the debris, AFP reported, citing the district’s regional emergency officials. Emergency services arrived at the scene soon after the collapse. At least 20 ambulances and heavy machinery for debris removal have been spotted.

A search and rescue operation is currently under way. At least 28 people have been rescued and sent to nearby hospitals, The Times of India reported.

Although the building was still under construction, the first two floors had already been rented out with around 60 shops functioning at the time of collapse. One eyewitness has suggested that around 150 people were inside the shops when the incident took place.

Local residents, interviewed by The Times of India, say the quality of the building’s construction was low and that it was a miracle that it passed the inspections.

Source: Sputniknews

China vows to promote stable and healthy property market

China plans to set up a long-term mechanism in the property market, Reuters reports, citing Vice Premier Han Zheng.

“We will steadily implement a pilot scheme under plans for a long-term mechanism to ensure stable and healthy development of the real estate market, and evaluate and track the implementation,” Han told state television on Monday.

The government will stabilize land and property prices and strive to resolve property market risks, Han said but did not give further details.

A “long-term mechanism” for the property market is seen heralding a long-expected property tax.

Work on a draft property tax is “steadily advancing”, senior Chinese parliamentary officials said during the annual session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing last week.

China has been considering a property tax for more than a decade. Analysts say the central government may be accelerating the process now as it just pledged to slash trillions in taxes and fees to spur growth in the economy, and as it enters the third year of a campaign against property speculation.

Such a tax would boost local governments’ coffers as a new source of revenue.

Source: Ejinsight

Breaking: 15 killed in north China building collapse

The death toll from a building collapse that occurred due to a landslide climbed to 15 on Tuesday in Xiangning County in the city of Linfen, north China’s Shanxi Province.

Five people are still unaccounted and 13 others have been rescued so far.

The accident occurred on Friday when a landslide toppled two residential buildings, a makeshift house and a public bathhouse.

A rescue mission is currently underway.

Source: Chinaorg

No fresh building collapsed on Lagos Island – LASG

The Lagos State Government has debunked claim that a building on 57 Egerton Square, Oke Arin on Lagos Island collapsed on Monday with people trapped.

There have been several reports online, including videos that another building had collapsed on Lagos Island, but the government has denied such.

General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu told PM News on phone that no building collapsed on Lagos Island.

He said what happened was that officials of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, LASBCA, were demolishing the building on Egerton Square and that a scavenger got injured while trying to pick up something from the building.

Also, LASBCA officials who were at the scene said there was no collapsed building and that they were pulling down a structure when a scavenger tried to pick up something and was injured.

LASBCA Public Affairs Officer, Titi Ajirotutu denied that a building collapsed on Lagos Island, saying that the building was under demolition and that one person who was trying to pick up something from the building was seriously injured, while dismissing various online reports of a collapsed building.

However, an eye-witness who craved anonymity said the building did not collapse on its own, but that it was being demolished.

When contacted, the Director of the Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musbau, told PM News that he could not confirm that a building collapsed on Lagos Island, but that he learnt that there was a demolition ongoing on the Island.

Source: PM NEWS

Fg to prosecute parents who refuse to enroll children in school

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu says Nigeria will soon effect policy to prosecute parents who refused to enroll their children of school age in schools across the country.

Adamu made this known in Abuja on Monday while addressing newsmen during the 9th edition of the Weekend Ministerial briefing.

He said parents who sabotage the efforts of the government at reducing the number of out of school children would soon be criminalised and would be made to face the wrath of the law.

“Unless the issue of parents who refused their children going to school is made a crime, and we start jailing parents, the menace of out of school children will not be resolved.

“There are many who are still working behind culture, religion.

“So the ministry is to effect this policy so that any parent whose child of school age refuses to take them to school will be jailed,’’ he said.

Speaking on matching grant and other intervention funds for basic education in Nigeria, the minister said a total of N350 billion had been expended on the sub-sector as against N360 billion spent by the previous administration.

“In the six years preceding the Buhari Administration, between 2009 and 2014, the Federal Government spent about N360 billion worth of intervention on Basic Education covering textbooks, teacher professional development, construction of classrooms and library resources among others.’’

Adamu added that in 2015, matching and non-conditional grants disbursements to 15 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory amounted to N68.4 billion.

He also said that in 2016, grants disbursements to 29 states and the FCT amounted to N77 billion.

According to him, in 2017 the Federal Government provided a total of N95billion to 24 states and the FCT, and another N109 billion to 20 states and the FCT.

“During the four year under review, the government of President Muhammadu Buhari provided a total grant to include, Matching grants, Educational imbalance fund, Special Educational fund and Good Performance fund.

“Others are Instructional Materials funds, Teacher Professional Development fund, as well as Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC ) Implementation and Monitoring funds across geo-political zones as attached.’’

Adamu emphasised that corruption and lack of political will from State governments were among other reasons responsible for collapse of basic education across the states.

“Having come to this painful conclusion, the Federal Government decided to deduct from source, part of the last tranche of the Paris Club refund from all the states that have not been able to access their monies from (UBEC).

“If this attitude of deliberate refusal on the part of states to provide counterpart funding for basic education continues, then the Federal Government will have no choice than to sustain its strategy of deducting counterpart funding of states percentage from source.’’

Adamu added that stakeholders were awaiting the decision of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on reduction of matching grants for state governments.

“We have already submitted proposal on the reduction of matching grants and we believe between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the matching grant will be reduced as against the 50 per cent that states have been claiming is difficult to provide,’’ he said.

Source: Daily Trust

Festac residents decry poor drainage system, flood menace

Residents of 6th Avenue, FESTAC have decried the poor state of living condition in the once sprawling elite neighbourhood owing to non-existing and poorly managed drainage system in the estate.

The Guardian gathered that whenever it rains, residents are not able to go about their normal activities because the area is usually flooded and it takes about a week, depending on the intensity of the downpour, for the floodwater to recede.

According to the Estate Manager, Mr. Okezie Madichie, out of the five estates in the area, which he manages, the entire stretch of 6th Avenue is flood-prone due to its swampy nature. He stated that the area, in the original master plan by the Federal Housing Authority, ought to have been sand-filled before plots were allocated but the Federal Government didn’t do that before selling the lands.

“Individuals filled basically everywhere in the community and most didn’t meet the standard, many of them built houses without proper drainage system and without standard foundation so a lot of the houses are very low, causing flooding when there’s a downpour,” he added.

A resident, who pleaded for anonymity said some houses use pumping machines whenever it rains to drain water out of their compounds into the road, in order for it not to weaken the foundation of their houses, but they in turn compound the problem for the community.

Another resident simply identified as Barrister Precious said each building paid N15,000 to make the road into the estate motorable. “The estate brought caterpillars for grading of the road but this only lasted for a short while, because when the rains started, we all went back to status quo as the road got damaged and returned to its previous state.

“We have been managing our affairs all alone independently of government as all the tiers of government – federal, state and local- have showed no concern to our plights in FESTAC.”

“Whenever it rains, the place looks like a river, as this is a developing swamp area and it is the individuals of this community that have made it possible for us to walk through the area, we, therefore call on government to assist us and put us out of this misery and avoid a major disaster and loss of lives and property, as another rainy season beckons,” said Mr. Uzondu, a resident of eight years.

Source: Guardian

Gas-induced fire engulfs houses in Delta, renders 20 families homeless

NO fewer than 20 families have been rendered homeless on Sunday afternoon in Delta.

The fire reportedly emanated from a cooking gas cylinder at Opi Street by fish pond in Ugboroke Community, Uvwie Local Government Area of the State.

The Sunday afternoon inferno razed down houses that would better pass for makeshifts, housing  over 20 families.

There was no loss of lives, In spite of the pandemonium that ensued while the fire raged.

The reason was attributed to the timely intervention of men of the Delta State Fire Service who prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings.

Tribune Online gathered that the cooking gas cylinder exploded when a girlfriend of one of the tenants in the compound was cooking unknown to her that the gas was leaking.

Why FG Deployed New RCC Technology in 700MW Zungeru Power Project

Federal Government, weekend, explained the reason behind the introduction of entirely new technology, the Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) technology, in the construction of the 700 Megawatts Zungeru Hydro Power Dam, in Niger State.

Abubakar Dangaladima, Director, General Services, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, gave insights into the benefits of the new technology during a monitoring, evaluation and inspection visit by a team from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing led by the power arm of the ministry.

Dangaladima, said most Dams in the country are either rock or concrete but the Zungeru Dam is being developed using linear type of concrete technology, known as RCC technology, to ensure that construction works are going on at any period of the year.

“The technology being used to develop the Dam is new in Nigeria. Currently most Dam we have in the country are either rock or concrete, but in this project we are utilising what is called linear type of concrete technology, known as Roller Compacted Concrete RCC technology.

“Using RCC technology has helped to ensure that construction works are going on at any period of the year. It also reduces the construction size of the project Dam” he said.

He added that normally most Dams are built underground, but in the case Zungeru Dam, it is built over ground, stressing that the contractors have done a lot to provide training for Nigerian Engineers who are engaged in the works.

Dangaladima noted that the training became necessary to enable Nigerian Engineers cope with the new technology that is being adopted in the construction of the Dam.

Dangaladima, reiterated that the federal government has paid all claims of the land owners, including compensation for farmers over their crops and land.

The project has also provided job opportunities for Nigerians and the local people around here.

“As we are talking 80 per cent of staff strength working in the project site are Nigerians.

Nobody has been short changed in terms of payment of compensations and claims to the best of my knowledge, if there were challenges in that regards, the locals would have voiced it out.”

Also speaking, Engineer Babatunde Adewunmi, the Deputy Project Manager for the joint venture transmission, said that the energy that could come from the new project is over 2600GW hour.

Adewunmi while explained  that at the upstream of the location is Shiroroh Dam, while at the downstream there is Jebba Dam, adding that the project is located between the two rivers.

According to the engineer, the advantages is that  the project enjoys  improved regulation of river flow between Shiroroh and Jebba, and is therefore utilising the energy potentials from the river flow upstream from the river flow downstream.

Adewunmi, noted that the intention is for that water to turbine through 175 MW which is the head of 101 meters and the power that will be generated should be evacuated through transmission light, 132kv line to Kainji and double circuit 330kv line to connect Shiroroh – Jebba transmission line.

Source: Independent

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