The federal government has announced a ban on the use of laterite as a base for road construction across the country.
Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi who made the announcement while inaugurating a committee for the supervision of the Reconstruction of Benin – Warri dual carriageway and the dualization of East – West Road, Port Harcourt – Onne Port junction road in River State, said contractors should henceforth use lumps, sharp sand and stone base to form the base before laying of concrete or asphalt pavement.
Umahi stated that laterite has a limited load bearing capacity, susceptible to erosion and weathering especially in areas with heavy rainfall and this can lead to degradation of the road surface overtime, maintenance challenge and does not last long.
A statement signed and released the Director (Information), Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Lere-Adams Blessing read;
“We are giving very serious attention to the roads between Benin and Warri. The road between Eleme and Onne Port, we are mindful of the site conditions of these roads, the water conditions and the boreholes instead of pot holes on these roads.
“No more laterite, contractors are now to use lumps, sharp sand and stone base in place of laterite.
“The committee must implement the contract agreement with maintenance culture as key. Committee members are to monitor the contractors closely to make sure things are done right.
“I want to say that road infrastructure is one of the key factors for the revolution of our commerce, education, security and power in this country and Mr President is committed to our road infrastructure, so we are on a mission and we must take back our country.
“We are not at war with the contractor but contractors should not put the public to suffering. Proper daily supervision and documention of what the contractor is doing is compulsory.
“They must ensure the new method of construction is followed and maintenance follows too because it is part of the elements of the contract and any offence is punishable.”