THE Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has said that he shed tears after traveling through some federal roads during a recent project inspection.
He identified procurement processes as a major challenge towards President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s lofty intention.
According to the former Governor, no existing federal road can last up to seven years.
“I shed tears for the kind of pains our people are going through,” the former Ebonyi State Governor said.
Umahi pointed out that some roads are riddled with not just potholes but “boreholes”.
He said this during a meeting with contractors from the six geo-political zones at the ministry’s headquarters on Tuesday, in Abuja.
He expressed dismay at how contractors cheat Nigerians with the materials they use to construct roads in the country.
He said, “There is no project being constructed right now in Nigeria that is going to last for seven years. The question is are we going to be maintaining or reconstructing our roads every 10 years?
“That is what we have been doing. I travelled from Abuja to Benin City through Lokoja, all the stretches of the road are on contract, and ongoing, this is through the policy of the last administration but how much of the roads are motorable?
“I travelled through the roads myself and I shed tears for the kind of pain our people are going through.
“I spent 14 hours on the road having started my journey at 10 am and got to Benin City at 2 pm the next day and I was very happy I experienced the pains.
“President Tinubu said I must travel through all the projects so that I could brief him on my experience and tell him the truth.
“Unless Mr. President does something about our procurement, his lofty intention to help this country may not be achieved. Documents will be sent to the Bureau of Public Procurement for a no-objection certificate and it will stay for six months.
“How will the contractors do the additional job you directed them to do without backup authorisation.”