The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has stated that the Federal Government is on track to complete the ongoing Abuja-Kaduna-Kano-Kastina highway project by 2025.

Umahi said in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda’s focus on revitalising the country’s economy through robust road infrastructure, President Bola Tinubu has instructed him to develop a programme aimed at completing the project next year.

During a courtesy visit by Kaduna Governor, Uba Sani, Umahi shared details on the strategic approach being implemented to achieve this ambitious target date.

In a statement on Wednesday night by his Special Adviser on Media, Uchenna Orji, the Minister said, “We are going to have the first section of 38 kilometres by 2, (which is 76 kilometres,) done by Dangote Group of Companies on Tax Credit and it’s going to use concrete to do it.

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“We will allow the next 82 kilometres for Julius Berger to handle. And then the last 20 kilometers by 2, (which is 40 kilometers) for BUA to handle and to also use concrete to do that. And I can assure you that the job will start in these three sections within this month.”

The minister also reaffirmed the Federal Government’s dedication to the Sokoto-Badagry highway project, emphasising that President Tinubu has instructed that the design phase be fast-tracked with utmost urgency and expedited action.

“The design of the highway is being handled with dispatch by the Federal Ministry of Works and the project would cover the old African trade route of Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Lagos States, connecting to Badagry,” he added.

He said a proposal was being made to link the South East to the North through the Trans Sahara Highway that would have a spur passing through Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa, and end in Abuja.

While commending the Governor for the peace and development being witnessed in Kaduna State under his administration despite inherent challenges, he prayed for more success as he piloted the affairs of the State.

In his remarks, Sani extolled the vision and commitment of the President to revolutionising road infrastructure, which is a catalyst for the socio-economic development of the nation, and the commitment of the Minister of Works which has changed the narrative in the development of road infrastructure in Nigeria.

He said, “I have to commend him for his effort. Since his assumption to office, he has made us proud, because he has done extremely well, and because he has been able to follow the blueprint of our President, who promised everyone when he was elected, that he would take development to every part of Nigeria, irrespective of those that elected him or not. And of course, that is the agenda, that is the Renewed Hope. Today, we are proud to say that development is reaching everywhere in Nigeria.”

Sani also commended the President’s initiative to construct the Lagos-Calabar road and the Sokoto-Badagry road, noting that the projects would enhance the socio-economic potential of the country when completed.

He emphasised the importance of the government’s intervention on the Eastern Bypass in Kaduna State, the Mando-Birnin Gwari road connecting the North West.

He said that the road was of prime importance for agricultural programmes in the North. “And for all of us in Northern Nigeria, you will agree with me that farming is very important. And what we really want is to create opportunities for people who are in rural areas. That will certainly help, particularly our farmers, linking our farms with markets. Our people believe in this infrastructure to support our farmers,” Sani said.

The latest assurance is reminiscent of numerous promises on several occasions to complete the project since December 20, 2018, when the contract was awarded.

In October 2022, the former minister of State, Works and Housing, Umar El-Yakub, said work on the Kaduna-Abuja highway, and Zaria-Kano road would be completed in early 2023 to reduce negative effects on road users.

Similarly, the former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in April 2023 stated that the past administration could not fulfil its promise due to security challenges experienced in 2022 and the relocation of some communities on the Zaria section of the 265km road project.

The road which would have been completed, according to design, dragged on till the end of Fashola’s tenure with only the Kaduna to Zaria section completed from the three sections.