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Nigerian govt. awards Gombe-Biu road contract for N27bn

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday approved N27.233 billion for the construction of the Gombe-Biu road.

The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed this to State House reporters at the end of the FEC meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He was with the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma.

According to Fashola, the road will support access to agricultural facilities, power plant and boost personnel movement.

He however disclosed that the approval did not include the 9 kilometer part of the road already constructed by the state government.

He said “We presented two documents, one was a Memorandum that required council approval and the other was a note to inform council. They are important because they follow closely and inter- relate with the economy and recovery plan. The first which was a memo was a contract of the Gombe – Biu Road that connects Gombe State to Borno and also leads to Adamawa and Yobe. The contract was for N 27.23bn for a 117km.

“The entire road excludes the 9km that had been constructed by the Gombe State government. The strategic importance of the road is undeniable; it supports agriculture, access to our power plants – Dadin Kowa hydro power plants. It also helps security logistics to move personnel and troops to respond to distress calls.

“It also going to be critical in the resettlement of IDPS. It’s part of the North East Development plan so it ticks all the boxes in terms of development and so on and also as far as budget implementation is concerned, this is one further step in that direction.”

He said that the other matter has to do with investment in people, security of lives and property, which is the revised Nigeria national building code.

He said “This code is 8 years behind its scheduled date and the first code was delivered in 2006 and it was revised in 2009 and since then it was stalled. Needless to say we have completed and approved the new code at the National Council of housing which the Ministry of power posted in August this year. It is national binding already and just to inform council.

“The information that is critical is that it first adopts international building code standards and it also seeks to improve fire protection systems in buildings, public and private and In this time of harmattan, dry weather, this is the appropriate time to revise this kind of standards and hope that they can quickly kick in and people benefit from them and we save lives and property.

“It also introduces the energy efficiency and green building methods into our national standards. Recall that the ministry had launched an energy efficiency building code earlier in the year and that has been incorporated as a national building code to ensure that people build more in compliance to global standard.

“You can position your building in such a way that people use more daylight, conserve energy, install fire heating systems that conserve energy. All of those are details that are aligned in the new Nigeria National building code. More importantly I will like to speak on the provisions that has been made in responding to the needs of people with disabilities, that’s a very important position in the code now.

“Provision of hand grills in toilets and washrooms, hand rails in ramps, lifts and ramps in public buildings to do some electro fitting as we go on.provisions that specify the gradients of ramps and some of the attempts to respond to this are too steep or sharp, responds to the needs of people living with disabilities so this code also responds to that.”

According to him, the standard and quality of equipment used in building have also been reviewed.

“Because when the Green…tower fire happened in London, we were in the period of finalising this code and that was part of the things we considered ,what lessons we could learn from their experience where a high rise building suddenly burnt quickly before fire service could respond.

“In that case we have modified and restricted some of this equipment and materials that can now be used in building in Nigeria in the hope that it will save lives and property.” he said

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