By Ononye VC
Gov Charles Soludo of Anambra state has dismissed the allegation that the cost of the Supplementary Budget presented to the state House of Assembly was padded, contending that the cost of materials for road construction has skyrocketed.
The roads in question are roads constructed by his predecessors between 2009 and 2022 that are in various stages of delamination hence the need for reconstruction or rehabilitation as the case may be.
According to a release by the Press Secretary Me Christian Aburime, Soludo contended that those allegations are the machinations of those who have been feeding on falsehood in the past.
On the cost of road per kilometer, it is funny that the “Unknown Writer” like his counterpart, the “unknown gunmen”, is using propaganda and deceit to hoodwink the unsuspecting public. How do you start talking about the cost of contract for roads currently being designed and contract not awarded? Very funny! Of course some people always judge others by their own standards.
Since the “unknown writer” made dubious comparisons to previous administrations, it is important that we place on record for the purposes of Ndi Anambra who employed us and to whom we are accountable, that the previous administrations awarded roads with the cost per kilometer varying from above One billion Naira per kilometer to a little over Two Hundred Million Naira per kilometer when diesel was about One Hundred and Twenty Naira (N120) per liter and asphalt was about Eighteen thousand Naira (N18,000) per ton. Of course, cost per kilometer depends on several factors including the topography, soil texture, design, stone base or just on laterite, overall quality etc.
Examples of the roads awarded by our predecessors and their costs per kilometer include but not limited to:
Awkuzu-Nteje-Umueri Airport Road
Length of road 5.2Km
Date awarded: 2015
Award Sum: N6,550,000, 000.00
Cost Per Kilometer: N1,259,615,384.61
Construction of Section 2 Nmiata- Nzam Road
Length of Road: 10.5km
Date Awarded December, 2014
Award Sum: N10,030,992,206.44.
Cost per kilometer: N980,952,380.95
Construction of Afor Oroma-Umudora – Umuikwu-Onono with spur to Umueze Anam/Nzam/Kogi federal high way road.
Date of Award: April 2018
Award Sum: N5,592,438,115.69
Cost per Kilometer: N302,000,114.25
Date of award: 2009
Award Sum: N7,816,193, 590.63
Cost per kilometer N300,622,830.41
Rehabilitation of Upper Iweka-Zik roundabout and Amawbia roundabout-Amansea Bridge
Date of Award: 2012/2013
Award Sum: N10,636,799,741.81
Cost per Kilometer: N462,469,553.99
Ajali-Akpo-Nawfija-Ufuma Ogbunka Road
Date of Award: 2017
Award Sum: N6,509,966,773.51
Cost per Kilometer: N408,022,640.34
Construction of Ukwuoji-Awka-Umuelechi Villiage-Ifite Nibo-Isiagu Road
Date of Award: 2017
Award Sum: N608,570,640.25
Cost per Kilometer N208, 058,338
These are samples of roads awarded between 2009 and 2018, none of them cost less than N200,000,000.00 per kilometer at a time when price of diesel was about N120/liter and asphalt was about or less than N18,000 per ton.
It is also on record that none of our predecessors awarded any road for less than Two Hundred Million Naira per Kilometer. Comparatively, these basic costs of major materials for road construction now stands as follows;
Asphalt N65,000/ton currently in 2022 and the cost as of 2018 and below.
This shows an increase of over 708% for diesel and 361% for asphalt, making it almost impossible to get any standard or durable road at N200,000,000 per kilometer that can be guaranteed to last more than 15 years with heavy traffic as is prevalent in most parts of Anambra; he said.