Online Editor at Interarchtiv Media Company
Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has disclosed that he inherited liabilities of over N7billion owed contractors handling road projects in the state.
Speaking at the weekend, when he inspected the ongoing work on the 32km Sheme-Kadisau-Dandume road, Masari said his administration met "over N7billion of certificates waiting to be paid".
Continuing, Masari said "these certificates have been signed by respective ministries and agencies and are now in the Ministry of Finance awaiting payments".
He regretted that roads constructed in the state hardly last two years with instances of complete washouts recorded in some places, assuring that his administration would not jeopardise quality as it is determined to ensure judicious use of the meager resources accruing to the state.
He noted that contracts for some of the ongoing road projects were hurriedly awarded by ex-Governor Shema after the PDP lost the general election "in a funny way so as to leave behind huge bills for the incoming government".
He assured that the state government would be guided by the contractual agreements between it and the firms handling the road projects and "will give them the basic minimum requirements in terms of what we can give them to make sure that they complete the work".
Masari said he was impressed by the work on the Sheme-Kadisau-Dandume road being handled by one of the expatriate road construction giants even as he pledged to direct government officials for proper inspection and assessments.
With eye on reaping the benefits of real estate market in Nigerian commercial capital, Lagos, promoters of the iconic structure in Adetokunbo Ademola Street have engaged estate surveying and valuation firms to sell its famous Kanti Towers in Lagos.
The city landmark boasts 6,500 square metres of premium office area with five floors of multi-level parking bays for over 100 cars and developed under a joint venture between Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) and Senkay Nigeria Limited.
It was recently reportedly that the historically low supply and opportunity to demonstrate what real prime grade quality office space is like has created interest from global and domestic institutional real estate investors in recent years.
Actis, an emerging market private equity firm, launched the first sub-Saharan Africa private real estate fund at $154 million and have a handful of real estate interests in Lagos and Abuja. The most relevant is a 15,600 sq. meters office development that is slated for completion before year-end.
Specifically, Kanti Towers, a known fixture on the Victoria Island skyline, is being put on the market by the firms of Jide Taiwo and Company and Joe Akhigbe and Associates. The project undertaken as a public private partnership has been completed and Messrs Senkay Nigeria Limited has tapped commercial real estate services firms to find a buyer for the building.
Initially, the building was on a rental model, but the promoters changed the model after the construction works and have decided to put a price tag of N20 billion ($100 million) on the edifice. Sources hinted that the 15 storey office complex with two basement floors, five floors of parking and 10 floors of office space was estimated to cost about N4.8 billion on completion.
The Guardian learnt that the current valuation and economic realities have made the price of the property to escalate. The N20 billion asking price has not deterred investors as the estate agents revealed that the high-rise have recorded a handful of inquires from foreign and local institutions including corporate bigwigs who are seeking a review of the price downwards.
Cappa and D'alberto Plc were appointed as contractor after a competitive bidding process to handle the construction of the carcass and supervise the installation of services and finishes. The contractor moved to site in September 2010 and expected to finish within 30 months, but was completed recently. Trevi Foundations handled the pilling, which commenced in January 2010 and was completed six months later.
Key features of the building include a helipad that allows traffic-free official shuttles to and from the airport. A facade garnished with Aluminum composite (aluco-bond) cladding, curtain walling system primarily made out of low e-glass, all introduced to create a touch of elegance and finally culminating with a descriptive cone and circular Helipad.
Officials from Jide Taiwo described the property as "an iconic building designed to offer market leading blend of highest technical specification, convenience and security, which provide first class business atmosphere that enhances operational capacities and corporate profile of the occupant."
The attraction of Kanti Towers to investors is the location in Nigeria's most dynamic business hub, within reach of top hotels and the head offices of key multinationals. With 15 floors of prestige office space, which is powered by three state of the art generating sets for seamless switch between power cuts.
Essentially, the building was finished with ramped split-level parking floors, aluminium clad external wall finish, glass walled lobby with glass encased staircase, glazed Italian porcelain floor tile finish, granite slab entrance step, metallic ceiling and automatic sliding entrance door.
Facilities include four lifts, three 750 KVA diesel generator sets and one 375 KVA with UPS back up, air conditioning system, dedicated borehole, water treatment plant, water storage tanks with 45,000 litres capacity for underground and 26,000 litres capacity for overhead, CCTV and access control, fire sprinkler system with fire alarms (dry and wet), sewage plant and pressurized staircase for fire safety.
Funding for the project was through fundraising with the promoter providing all the equity while a local bank provided the construction finance of about N3 billion. Mis Advisory was appointed as Financial Advisor and arranged the funding. Other consultants include Almog Engineering Limited (Mechanical and Electrical Contractor) and Skein Nigeria Limited (Metallic Ceiling Contractor).
Reconstruction of houses, schools, hospitals, police stations, courts, local government secretariats, worship places among others destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of Borno State has advanced with the first phase of work currently going on in different parts of Kaga Local Government Area in Northern part of the state as visits to 16 sites of projects, some having numerous buildings in one site, have shown on Saturday.
The projects are being carried out by the newly-established Ministry for Rehabilitation, Reconstructions and Resettlement announced by the state Governor Kassim Shettima in September while appointing 21 commissioners. The works are undertaken with a standard set by the Shettima, that P.O.Ps be used to replace normal ceiling sheets and ultra modern aluminum roofing sheets be used instead of zinc with the aim of taking advantage of the reconstructions to remodel affected communities.
Shettima undertook an assessment visit that lasted about seven hours reviewing progress of work in major villages of Auno and Jakana as well as Beneshiek, headquarters of the local government area, all along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway
The governor who left his residence at 10a.m. last Saturday along with journalists from different media organisations in an outing that lasted a whole day, made his first stop over at Auno village, located 21 kilometres away from Maiduguri to assess models of low cost houses being built for the purpose of resettling villagers affected by the insurgents, changing their standard of living.
He proceeded to assess a primary healthcare centre rebuilt with staff quarters for doctors, nurses and other health workers in Auno.
The governor also assessed a rebuilt and modernised primary school as well as the residence of the district head who is expected to play a renewed role in mobilising citizens towards community policing.
He also assessed newly constructed boreholes and a central mosque already completed, before moving to Jakana which is 15 kilometres away from Auno. While there, Shettima assessed the reconstruction of a police quarters made of units of houses and a primary school in addition to giving instruction for the immediate drilling of an additional borehole for a community.
Shettima then moved to Benisheikh, an urban area and headquarters of a local government area, where he spent most of the time inspecting numerous projects being reconstructed.
The governor also assessed works at the large council secretariat, a boarding primary school, the low cost primary school, Tamandara primary school, a secondary school, an office complex of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), an estate of 20 units of houses, an upper area court, a magistrate court, a cooperative store, the divisional police headquarters. From counting, a total of 16 sites of projects with most having numerous buildings in one site,
He said Kaga was chosen because of its immediate access to reconstruction workers, noting that the Bama, Gwoza and Askira Uba would form the next phases as blocks were already being moulded in sites located in the three local government areas while other construction equipment were being purchased. "As you can see, we are using P.O.Ps instead of Brazilian ceilings in all the buildings we have visited be they class rooms, offices, hostels, dining halls and what have you in primary and secondary schools, all the buildings in all hospitals from wards to offices and staff quarters, housing estates and generally, all our buildings.
"We are also using aluminum roofing sheets instead of zincs, we are using sliding windows that we use in our houses, we are using quality doors all these are part of the standards we have set to take advantage of the unfortunate destructions and remodel our towns to turn them to model places that will improve the quality of living standards for our people.
"We are completely rebuilding the attacked communities with a remodeling mindset to turn them to cities with modern private and infrastructures that will stand the taste of time with very functional service delivery in water supply, healthcare delivery, education and other essentials.
"Insha Allah, with the massive support we are awaiting from the federal government, Borno will be transformed. President Muhammadu Buhari has shown sufficient commitment to ending this insurgency and he has shown equal commitment to the reconstruction and rehabilitation process and we are so full of appreciation to him and all stakeholders involved in supporting Borno.
"We have had 20 local government areas affected while Yobe and Adamawa States has had between two to six each, Borno State is the worst affected and we are sure justice will be accorded to Borno state and to all states affected," Shettima said during an interview at the site of General Hospital in Benesheikh. The governor rounded off the visit in the evening and returned to Maiduguri almost at sunset.
Most roads and other infrastructure in Nigeria and the whole of Africa are in sorry state. As the world grapples with a sluggish economy, the flow of investment to and within emerging economies is without doubt more intricate and extremely competitive.
Among the many factors that influence the decision of investors to take their investment to any given country is certainly the state of roads and infrastructure.
For Nigeria where the percentage of properly paved roads is about 20 per cent of the entire roads in the country, urgent steps must be taken to take off bad roads from the list of many other factors, such as insecurity and corruption that are making investors look to smaller West African nations as preferable investment destinations.
Perhaps, the nature of oil and gas investment, which guarantees high returns without necessarily engaging a commensurate mass of the nation's population has helped to perpetuate the current state where even though a lot of revenue has accrued to the nation's treasury, not much of it were injected into the improvement of infrastructure.
However, now that the prospects of the oil and gas industry have diminished significantly and Nigeria is looking to agriculture, industry, solid minerals and other arms of the real sector for the redemption, the need to ensure cost effective road construction and other infrastructure cannot be over stated.
This is why the current clamour for the replacement of asphalt roads with concrete is worth looking into with seriousness.
Lessons from Abroad
Some experts are of the opinion that a good place to begin the paradigm shifts with respect to road management in the country is the diversification of the material used for road construction and maintenance.
Virtually all the roads in Nigeria were made using asphalt and bitumen. Also, all the road maintenance carried out in the country is done using this single material and method, which has failed to give the kind of roads that make nations proud and lure investors.
Construction experts are now asking why cement which Nigeria now produces locally in very large quantities has not been introduced in road making to save the country from the five-decade long embarrassment.
The fact that Nigeria has failed to use cement for road making is most embarrassing because other countries such as India, the United States among others have successfully used cement to make roads and maintain them for up to a century or more.
US Cement Roads
As a matter of fact, cement and concrete played a major role in the construction of the United States Interstate Highway System during the past 60 years. The national focus has shifted from building new highways to maintaining and repairing the existing highway network. Recent advances in concrete technology enable highway contractors to rehabilitate the nation's 160,000 mile national highway system to extend its useful life with minimal disruption of traffic.
The US national highway system, which includes the nearly 45,000 mile interstate system, carries 40 per cent of the nation's total traffic, including 70 per cent of the commercial traffic and 90 per cent of the tourist traffic, according to the US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
About 60 per cent of the interstate system is concrete, especially in urban areas where FHWA anticipates heavy traffic loads. Concrete was selected, in part, because of its durability.
Concrete can support heavy loads, such as truck traffic, with less deformation than asphalt. Although the initial cost of concrete used to be higher than for asphalt, today concrete has become the least expensive alternative for new construction on a first-cost basis in addition to maintenance costs being generally lower.
In addition, concrete generally has a useful life of twice that of asphalt. Concrete commonly serves 20 to 30 years without needing major repair, while asphalt typically lasts only eight to 12 years before resurfacing or significant repair is required.
The first concrete highway constructed in the United States was a 24-mile long, 9-foot wide, 5-inch thick strip of concrete pavement built near Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1913 - five years after the introduction of the Model T Ford. By 1914, concrete had been used to pave 2,348 miles of roadway.
Today, this is still the primary method of financing road building and maintenance. The Pennsylvania Turnpike, built on a railroad right-of-way during the 1930s, was the first major intercity turnpike or toll road in the United States and was constructed of concrete.
Significant technical and design developments during the 1930s and 1940s made concrete paving faster, less expensive, and more durable. Road designers stopped requiring contractors to build roads that were thicker at the edges - concrete highways were generally six inches thick at the middle and eight- or nine-inches thick at the edges - and permitted construction with a uniform concrete depth, saving time and money.
Cement Producer's View
Chairman of Dangote Cement, Aliko Dangote, recently called on the federal government to urgently consider the use of concrete roads in the country. Africa's richest man said, it would be to the benefit of Nigerians and even the federal and state governments to embrace the option of using concrete for roads in the country. Aside from being very cost effective, he said concrete roads were more durable and that its maintenance cost was near zero.
Also, Executive Director, Stakeholders Relations and Corporation Communications, Dangote Group, Mr. Mansur Ahmed, said for Nigeria to achieve its long-desired infrastructural development, it must embrace the use of concrete for road construction and other construction works.
Speaking at the just concluded 21st Summit of the NESG at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, Ahmed said this was a choice that Nigeria must make. He said concrete roads make more economic sense for a country like Nigeria, as the use of asphalt has left the roads in a deplorable condition.
He said asphalt is no longer in vogue in developed climes, stressing that the construction of concrete road is faster and can last for half a century compared to asphalt, adding that concrete roads are 20 per cent cheaper to build. According to him, in the construction of concrete roads, the cement raw materials are readily available while asphalt is imported into the country.
The former Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, earlier in the year said the federal government was set to begin trying the construction of roads using cement and concrete.
He said rigid pavement, which is another name for cement concrete surface, was the use of cement, rather than asphalt, and was expected to make roads last longer in Nigeria.
The minister said two roads (Kachia-Baro road to connect the Federal Capital Territory to Baro Port in Niger and Ikorodu-Sagamu road in Lagos state) would be the first beneficiaries after the approval of this year's budget. Unfortunately, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lost the presidential election and he lost his position as minister of works.
Onolememen said government was taking measures to regulate the movement of heavy duty trucks to eliminate the high incidence of potholes, caused mostly by such vehicles.
The minister said the gesture was in line with the quest for best practices in the country. He urged cement companies to declare what investments they were prepared to bring into the road construction business as it relates to the use of their products.
Rising Production Capacity
All across Nigeria cement companies are springing up, churning out millions of tonnes of cement produced straight from limestone. Dangote has always led the pack of cement makers, producing 29.25 million tonnes of cement every year from three huge integrated plants in Obajana, Gboko and Ibese.
With the annual cement consumption in Nigeria still a little less than 20 million tonnes per annum, Dangote alone is producing nine million tonnes more cement every year than the nation's market is able to take up.
Lafarge, after its recent merger with Swiss company Holcim, has had its annual cement output in Nigeria rise to around 8 million tonnes per year.
Work is in progress on 100-housing units in Bama town in Borno State as part of efforts by the Borno State government to rebuild destroyed communities and resettle displaced persons in various IDP camps in Maiduguri metropolis, Governor Kashim Shettima said yesterday.
He was speaking to newsmen in Maiduguri on the progress of work being carried by the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement which he recently created to rebuild the destroyed communities.
The governor said his state was 'the most hit' of Boko Haram insurgency compared to the two neighbouring states of Adamawa and Yobe, and had to resettle over 20 per cent of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-east.
He said in Borno alone, there were 20 local government areas destroyed by Boko Haram, compared to four and two councils in Adamawa and Yobe States.
"In terms of scope and extent, some communities were completely razed down by this madness of Boko Haram insurgents in over five years. In the whole of Gwoza LGA, believe me, not a single town or village was spared while from Bama there are over 400,000 people displaced and currently taking refuge in Maiduguri. In the North-east, there are 3 to 4 million refugees, while nearly 80 per cent of displaced persons are from Borno State," Shettima said.
He lamented placing Borno on the same pedestal with Adamawa and Yobe on insurgency devastation and loss of lives and property.
"I believe we deserve special treatment and we have to commend President Muhammadu Buhari because he has shown passion for the re-charge of the Lake Chad on which over 30 million people rely for their livelihood and sustenance.
"Believe me, this madness will immediately evaporate when the Lake Chad is fully recharged to engage the people in productive ventures," he added.
To further address the demand gap in construction chemicals industry in Nigeria and its neighbouring countries, BASF Construction Chemicals, West Africa, has inaugurated its new production plant for concrete admixtures in Lagos, Nigeria.
According to the firm, the new plant would aid the company's supply activities to its customers with admixtures for all cement and aggregate types, irrespective of where their construction projects are located.
Country Manager for BASF Construction Chemicals, West Africa, Nair Narayanan while speaking at the inauguration of the plant said: "We as experts in construction chemistry are where our customers need us with the foremost aim to fulfil the many needs and requirements of the industry in Nigeria, and then to further expand the business to export to neighbouring west African countries such as Ghana, Liberia, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast".
According to him, BASF's admixtures enable the production of concrete that is stronger and more durable while also increasing its workability retention, therefore leading to faster setting and hardening and thus accelerating the construction progress.
He added that the admixtures further helps to reduce the total costs of ownership, while the new facility also allows for tailor-made products for local customers in order to meet their specific needs.
Regional head of BASF's Construction Chemicals division, Christian Geierhaas, added saying: "Fast and flexible solutions based on the daily and future needs of the construction industry in Western Africa are our contribution to the region's economic progress. Our clear aim is to support the local industry by reducing imports, thereby minimizing the long lead times for supplies and other transport related issues, while supporting the economic growth of the region by creating employment opportunities".
On the selection of Nigeria for its market, BASF Senior Vice President Europe East, CIS, Middle East and Africa, Laurent Tainturier said: "Nigeria is a particularly dynamic growing market for construction chemicals in West Africa. Growth in emerging markets is an integral component of BASF. This new production facility will strengthen the product portfolio in the region, and, while meeting the demands for the broader construction industry, it will also introduce the company's expertise in world leading technology into the region such as energy efficiency in construction techniques".
He added that the new production site in Lagos is a further step to strengthen the global network of the Master Builders Solutions brand.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Obung Village, Akamkpa Local Government Area of Cross River State defied the heavy down pour to commence the construction of the 260-kilometre, Calabar-Ikom- Katsina-Ala Super Highway valued at N700 billion.
The proposed road, a six lane dual carriage way, according to the state Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, would serve as evacuation route for cargoes that would be imported through the proposed Calabar Deep Sea Port.
Buhari arrived Obung at about 12.36 p.m. by road from the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, after about 45 minutes drive perhaps due to bad weather occasioned by the early morning heavy rains.
However, he departed the event by air through a presidential helicopter. The president was accompanied to the event, his first official visit to any state since he assumed office, by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha; the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State, Umana Okon Umana; Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, his media aides , Femi Adesina and Garba Shehu, among others.
The governors of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom; two former governors of Cross River State, Donald Duke, Liyel Imoke; the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V; the Chief Judge of Cross River State, Okoi Itam, and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, John-Gaul Lebo; National Assembly members, members of the state traditional rulers council and others also graced the occasion.
Delivering his address before formally commencing the project, the president commended Ayade for conceptualising the road which he said at completion, would enhance easy movement of goods and persons and the economy of the people.
"The road will open a window of opportunity for the people of Cross River State and Nigeria as a whole as well as reduce travel time.
"That I am here in person underscores the importance the federal government attaches to this. It is indeed a significant milestone in the economic and policy of the governor.
"This is the first groundbreaking under my presidency. I commend Ayade and his team for their foresight in conceptualising this project.
In his address, Ayade stated that the project would provide employment for the teaming youth population in communities along the 14 local government areas that the road would pass through to the borders of northern Nigeria.
Ayade who commended the president for honouring his invitation to commence the project said: "You said you are for everyone and today you have proven this by your support for us.
"That is because given the circumstances of our nation and the politics, Cross River State would not have been worthy of being your first port of call. You have shown that you are truly a president."
On the road project, Ayade said: "The ontological kinetics of the road started with the loss of oil wells, consequent on the loss of Bakassi. The state was reduced to want. It became imperative to reconstruct a new means of production and open a horizon to get teeming young men employed."
"The road will serve as an evacuation corridor for the new deep seaport. The seaport will have a draft of 14 metres a d a key wall of 680 meters that will allow for all sizes of vessels to berth.
"The road will be the first to have broadband Internet connectivity, speed cameras, ambulatory services, photology solar system".
Commenting on the flag off of the super highway project, the Chairman of the Inter -Party Advisory Council (IPAC) , Goddie Akpama enjoined Ayade to ensure that the road was not abandoned.
Akpama who spoke to THISDAY at the end of event said: "It is a good thing that President buhari has come personally to flag-off the super highway. What I am advising the governor to do is to ensure that the road is completed and commissioned and should not be abandoned the way the Liyel Imoke administration abandoned the International Convention Centre (ICC). Today the ICC is an eyesore. But, we belive Ayade has what it takes to see to the completion of the 260 kilometre super highway."
The Kebbi State Government on Wednesday pledged to facilitate the completion of all World Bank-financed projects in the state.
The Kebbi Governor, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, made the pledge in Birnin Kebbi when he received officials of the state Ministry of Lands and Housing in his office.
"We will do our best to ensure all the projects are completed with maximum cooperation and support for the betterment of our people, " he said.
The governor commended the World Bank and other donors for supporting the state in every way.
Speaking earlier, the state Surveyor-General, Alhaji Musa Koko, told the governor that work toward an additional National Grid line of 330 kv by Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) had commenced, to augment the existing one from Kainji.
"The distance of the project is 880 km and it is being funded by the World Bank and African Development Bank, " he said.
The Federal Government is collaborating with three West African countries as well as the West African Power Pool (WAPP), World Bank and African Development Bank (ADB) on the project.
The collaboration has kicked off Social Impact Assessment for the construction of a high voltage electrical transmission line over a distance of 880 km across the four countries.
A three -storey building that collapsed on Odun Ifa Street, Lagos Island, Lagos State, trapping occupants of the building for many hours on Wednesday, even though authorities said there were no casualties.. Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaq Fadipe, who was at the scene, confirmed the incident.
"People were reported trapped and search and rescue operations are ongoing," said Fadipe.
According to an eyewitnesses, several people were trapped inside the collapsed building. The building, located on Odun Ifa Street, by No. 100, Adeniji Adele Street, collapsed Wednesday morning.
"We had to mobilise so many rescue officials to come and assist. The LASEMA, State Red Cross, Area Commander of the Police and Fire Brigade, were all contacted", he said.
He complained of Nigeria's slow response to emergencies. An official of the National Emergency Management Agency confirmed to Channels Television that no casualty was recorded during the incident.
Source: Daily Independent
A 72-year -ld woman and a 15 year-old boy are among the few persons that have been pulled out of the debris of a collapsed house in Lagos Island.
The old woman and the boy whose identities were not known yet were brought out of the rubles at about 1pm on Wednesday.
This brings to a total of five persons that have so far been rescued alive from the collapsed building.
The were rescued by Emergency workers from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Lagos State Emergency Management Agency drafted to the scene.
Efforts to rescue others trapped was still going on.
Daily Trust reliably learnt that the three storey building located at No. 5, Swamp street , off Odunfa street, Adeniyi Adele road, Lagos Island Collapsed around 9am.
Lagos emergency agency arrived 10 am along with those from NEMA and started evacuating the debris to get to the trapped victims.
Some of the victims were said to have called family and friends with the aid of their cell phones around 11am.
Abdullateef Olatunji who lived in the house said he noticed that the building was about to collapse, and allegedly raised alarm that attracted some people to the house .
He revealed that more persons would have been trapped on the ground floor, and some were also upstairs and are still trapped.
He explained that on the ground floor are a Printing press, canteen, shop, film editor, barber etc.
Source; All africa .com