The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Friday directed that all vehicles parked at construction sites of highway projects should be impounded.
Fashola said this in a statement in Abuja after his return from an inspection of the highway projects in Port- Harcourt, Rivers.
According to him, the Federal Government roads are not parking lots.
He said that the on-going expansion and upgrading work on the Port Harcourt– Enugu and the Aba – Port Harcourt Expressways was on course.
“The 9km road from Eleme Junction to the Imo River and 4km of the road to the railway crossing in Aba towards Port Harcourt sections of the road are being expanded and upgraded from the four existing lanes to eight lanes.
“This is to accommodate current and future traffic volumes and ease some level of intolerable discomfort especially during the rainy season.
“The road would link the five states in the Southeast Geopolitical Zone of the country.
“The highway has a total length of 41.4km starting from Aba Rail Crossing Bridge within Aba township in Abia and will finally terminate at Eleme Junction Flyover in Port Harcourt, Rivers.’’
Fashola commended the initiative of the construction company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Nigeria Ltd as it planned to focus on the first four lanes.
He said that the company planned to finish that and put them to use before the reconstruction of the other four lanes to reduce the long time spent in traffic by commuters and the community.
“If people have two uninterrupted lanes, traffic may be slow but it will move, and therefore we can concentrate on finishing the remaining lanes.
“When we finish both , then we can have the full compliment of the eight lane highway.
“Our plan is to make this year better than last year and ultimately by next year, there will be no rainy season challenges because, we should have come out fully from this,”he added.
The minister also disclosed that similar construction work had commenced at the Enugu and Okigwe axis of the highway project by different contractors to provide seamless travelling experience.
He used the opportunity to urge local and state governments to mobilise their people to be alive to their civic responsibilities and cooperation, pointing out that community and personal hygiene were crucial in this crisis of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Federal Controller of Works Rivers, Mr Johnson Fadire, who conducted the minister and his team round the on-going road construction project said the inspection by the minister was timely.
Fadire said the ministry would “do the needful’ to make sure the road was completed and delivered at the right time.
He commended traditional rulers who prevailed on their subjects whose properties were demolished for the construction of the highway for agreeing to accept an initial payment of 50 per cent for compensation on their demolished properties.
Earlier, Mr Zou Xiaomei, Project Manager of CCECC Nigeria Ltd, one of the contractors handling section IV of the project in Rivers, said although there were initial challenges but they had been sorted out.