The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to completing the unfinished section of the Abuja-Kaduna road by the end of the year. Despite promises made since the contract was awarded on December 20, 2018, delays have persisted.
Former Minister of State for Works and Housing, Umar El-Yakub, announced in October 2022 that efforts would be made to finish the Kaduna-Abuja highway and Zaria-Kano road by early 2023 to alleviate issues for road users. However, in April 2023, former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, cited security challenges in 2022 and the relocation of communities on the Zaria section as impediments to fulfilling the promise.
In a recent meeting with ministry directors in Abuja, Minister of Works, David Umahi, expressed determination to overcome contractual obstacles and deliver the project to benefit Nigerians before the end of 2024. He revealed that there are 1.7 kilometers left in two sections of the Abuja-Kaduna road.
Umahi highlighted financial challenges, stating that the project cost had escalated from N165 billion to N655 billion due to a review. However, the contractors are now requesting a staggering N1.35 trillion, which the government deems unaffordable. Umahi emphasized the importance of the road, funded under the Presidential Development Fund initiative, and discussed potential solutions, including exploring existing sub-grades and reconsidering the construction of the first 40km by Dangote under the Tax Credit Scheme with concrete pavement.
Despite funding constraints, Umahi affirmed his commitment to completing the road in the current year, emphasizing the government’s determination to address challenges and deliver on its promise. The reconstruction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, managed by Julius Berger, is divided into three sections and is vital for the development of the northern region.