We’ll meet in court, Umahi replies contractors threatening litigation

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has dared contractors threatening litigation over the ministry’s plan to encourage the use of concrete as an alternative to asphalt for road construction.

He also dismissed speculations that he was pursuing this agenda to pave way for his company to take over contracts.

Umahi, who stated this at a briefing in Abuja yesterday, challenged those threatening to go to court to go ahead, saying the ministry under his leadership had done nothing outside the provisions of the law.

He reiterated that the ministry had always engaged its contractors in line with the general condition of contracts, which is the standard practice all engineers were expected to abide by.

Umahi reminded all that   Clause 51 of the contractual agreement on road construction empowered the ministry to direct a contractor to change from asphalt to concrete layout.

He explained that his preference for concrete roads was “due to the fact that it has at least 50 years shelf life, will reduce the pressure on naira, boost the economy of the country and create employment, since there are indigenous companies producing cement, unlike bitumen being imported for asphalt.”

Umahi declared that any contractor insisting on asphalt roads must sign an agreement that it will last for at least thirty years, which is the shelf life, as Nigerians must get value for their taxes.