The Nigerian parliament has suspended the planned use of concrete in constructing roads across the nation, according to Thursday’s order paper of the House of Representatives obtained by Peoples Gazette.
Yobe state legislator, Khadija Bukar Ibrahim, proposed the suspension over growing concerns that the “use of rigid/cement concrete pavements” has “significant technical limitations and constraints.”
Ms Ibrahim stressed there was a “need to investigate the adoption of concrete technology for road construction in Nigeria” particularly its comparative advantages and disadvantages over asphalt which may alter technical specifications and breach contracts since there have been ongoing road projects before David Umahi’s ministerial appointment.
Based on the concerns raised by Ms Ibrahim, the House urged “the Federal Ministry of Works to suspend in the interim the wholesome adoption of cement concrete for road construction pending the outcome of the investigation.”
The suspension could be perceived as a low blow to minister of works, Mr Umahi, who had fiercely sparred with road contractors who favoured asphalt over concrete in road construction.
Mr Umahi had in September boasted of enjoying President Bola Tinubu’s backing to adopt cement for road construction and asserted there was no “amount of gang up within and outside that is going to change this” in response to dissenting contractors.
Additionally, the House mandated designated committees on works, environment, finance and judiciary to investigate the merits and demerits of using cement concrete for road construction and asphalt and report back within three weeks.