Ahead of the planned reconstruction and repair of the Abuja Airport runway, which would lead to a diversion of air traffic and passengers from Abuja to Kaduna, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), at the weekend, inspected progress of work on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.
Fashola, who stopped at several points on the road to ascertain the quality of work being done in company with the Minister of State, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri and other senior officials of the ministry, said the Federal Government through the ministry was effecting the emergency repair work to ensure that the road was safe and motorable.
The Minister called for careful driving to avoid accidents during the period of closure and on the nation’s roads generally. In an interactive session with newsmen after the inspection, Fashola said although government has embarked on the emergency repair of the road to make it safe by removing potholes, a lot depended on the users of the road to ensure that they remain safe and avoid accidents while the closure lasted.
The Minister, who said he would wish a day when no accidents would be reported on the nation’s roads, expressed regrets that such a wish remained far-fetched, adding that apart from the condition of the roads, human error constituted a very significant factor in road accidents. Fashola, who clarified that the work being carried out on the road was an emergency repair and not the real reconstruction, added that the purpose of the inspection was to see the progress made on the repairs as the date for the closure of the airport was drawing near.
Fashola disclosed that a contract provision was going through Procurement for the reconstruction of the road, which he recalled, was constructed in the early 90s when it was expanded from a single carriageway to a dual carriageway.
“So the road needs to be rebuilt because it has been subjected to a lot of axle load. But what we are doing right now is emergency repairs to remove the potholes to make the road safe for commuters ahead of the planned reconstruction and repair of the Abuja Airport runway which will lead to a diversion of air traffic and passengers from Abuja to Kaduna, which will start on March 8,” he said.