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Residents of Ago-Palace Way in Okota are gradually heaving a sigh of relief as the ongoing Ago-Palace Way road expansion project being carried out by the Lagos State government through the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development is gradually taking shape.
The road expansion, which has been surrounded by controversy resulting from the demolition of houses and shops, including those the state government had deemed to have encroached on the right of way, so as to pave way for the project, is gradually revealing the reasons for its conception in the first place.It will be recalled that the project which commenced a couple of years ago has been engulfed in numerous litigations, some of which, according to a source, are yet to be resolved.
When Property and Environment visited various sections of the ongoing project last week, it was discovered that the construction company handling the project, China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) Nigeria Ltd, based on the agreement made with the state government, had opted against the construction of the conventional asphalt-bitumen type of road, choosing, rather, to use interlocking stones, made from concrete.
It will be recalled experts in the construction sector have, at various times, been clamouring for a shift in road construction in the country from the use of bitumen to cement/concrete.
For instance, only last week, the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (CMAN) urged the Federal Government to consider the use of cement to build concrete roads in place of the current practice of using laterite and asphalt which, according to the body, has a shorter life-span.
According to the chairman of the association, Mr Joseph Makoju, who had led a delegation to the Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, the initial cost of building roads with concrete cement would be 10-15 per cent higher, saying in the long run, such projects would prove cheaper.
Nigeria is a country that produces cement in large quantities. This can be leveraged in road construction. Until now, cement was only an alternative in terms of cost-effectiveness. In lifecycle, the cost of concrete will be 10 to 15 per cent more expensive, but in 25 years, the cost of concrete will be cheaper than asphalt.
“We believe we are now in a position where the cost of cement should come down based on the law of demand and supply,”Share