FCT minister makes U-turn, says completion of Apo-Karshi road not feasible now

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The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammed Bello, has said the completion of the 13.25kilometer Apo-Karshi road is no longer feasible.

The minister stated this on Wednesday while briefing journalists after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

Mr Bello had on February 17 assured that the road would be completed before the rainy season commences.

The contract was awarded by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) in 2011 at the cost of N6.4 billion.

The road project was conceived as an alternative route to ease the gridlock experienced on a daily basis by workers and people coming into the capital city from the Mararaba-Nyanya axis.

Completion of the current project by the current FCDA administration has been delayed as a result of what Mr Bello then described as an “error of design.”

Fresh information

Explaining why he had to go back on his words, the minister said the information available to him now was different from the one he had at the time he made the promise.

“I made that statement here a few weeks ago based on information available to me at that time. But, it is very obvious now based on the reality on ground and the challenges being faced by the contractor including funding which we are trying to resolve,” Mr Bello said.

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“It is likely that we would not be able to meet the target I earlier set up for making sure that that road gets opened before the rainy season. But you can be rest assured that is a road that is so important to all of us in the city, and we will keep on pushing on to see that it Is done.”

The minister had in February said that the initial challenges encountered by the project contractor had been surmounted, adding that work was at advanced stage.

“The Karshi-Apo road is a project that should have been delivered by now. One of the main challenges faced in that road has to do with error in the design whereby, a huge rock outcrop on the alignment of the road corridor became very difficult to be able to arrange. But we are very happy to say that it is now almost taken care of. I believe within a few months time hopefully before onset of the rains this year, that road would be open.

“Already a portion of that road which links Tundun Wada on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway via old and new Karshi is now very motorable because of the bridge constructed there by the Ecological Fund, which was commissioned about a month ago,” the minister said at the time.

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