To navigate through the ongoing recession, construction professionals are targeting critical road projects by the Federal Government worth N174 billion, New Telegraph has learnt. Some of the projects are contained in the 2017 appropriation bill, in which about 25 major roads, including drainage works and canal, are meant to be built or rehabilitated.
Managing Partner, JIMS Partnership, Mr. Olujide Oke, said the massive projects have presented veritable opportunities for consultants such as civil engineers, builders, project managers and general contractors to key in for business.
Some of the critical road projects include Lagos- Ibadan Expressway (N5 billion), concession of on-going second Nigeria Bridge (N17 billion), rehabilitation of Sokoto- Tambuwal-Kontangora- Makirra road (N4 billion), Ilorin- Jebba-Mokwa road (N6 billion), Apapa-Oshodi road (15 billion) and Abuja-Lokoja Road (N10 billlion).
Oke, who is the Publicity Secretary of Nigerian Institute of Quantity surveyors, (NIQS), said that these projects have become business opportunities and sources of income for construction consultants in the country.
He also hinted that the Federal Executive Council (FEC)’s approval of N102.077 billion and $1.79 billion for roads projects across the country and rail project in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were a boost to business opportunities by built environment professionals.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had disclosed after the FEC meeting that N80 billion was approved for 12 roads and bridges in various states, including Taraba, Adamawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu and Kaduna.
The minister said there was approval of N150.84 million for the engineering and consultancy design for access road 1 and 2 to link Asaba in Delta State and Onitsha in Anambra State to link the Second Niger Bridge project.
Meanwhile, Oke said the collaboration of experts in this sector would enhance quality of delivery of ongoing road projects, apart from Eko Atlantic City, Dangote Lekki Refinery, housing intervention projects, states housing programmes, urban renewal plans, upgrading and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, new town development and commercial office complex/shopping malls, among others.
Also, former President of NSE, Chief Olumuyiwa Ajibola, urged the Federal Government to exploit potentials of engineering to give effect to the expected economic growth.
He added that engineering and engineers should be involved in strategic economic planning, policy and implementation space of the nation through their active involvement.
According to him, a strong engineering presence must be in the policy space and should not be restricted to economists. Former President, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Dr. Bunmi Ajayi, said there was need to work on issues of local content, urging the professional regulatory bodies in the built environment industry to lead the crusade.