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PORT HARCOURT INSIGHT N100

VOL.1 OCTOBER EDITION

THE 1OO BILLION NAIRA FAILED PROJECT NKPOLU-RUMUIGBO JUNCTION:

W

hen you hear the word “road failure”, the first thing that comes to your mind has to be poor design and maintenance. Road failures in Africa is due to bad infrastr ucture development on the continent. Unlike Europe, African government and contractors fail to do the right thing when it comes to developing a project. Corrupt practices in the design, procurement and construction process plagues Africa's infrastructure development. More so, there is a severe lack of maintenance culture in developing countries across Africa.

ROAD AS AN IMPORTANT PUBLIC ASSET A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places that has been paved. Roads open up more areas and stimulate economic and social development which makes it a public asset. Meanwhile, a road is said to have failed when it becomes unable to meet acceptable levels of serviceability due to the weakness or instability of any layer of its cross section. These weakness or instability can be attributed to many factors. However, the most prevalent in Southern Nigeria is improper drainage and P U B L I S H E D BY

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differential volume change in layer material.

STATE OF INFRASTRUCTURE IN PORT HARCOURT Port-Harcourt, the capital of the treasure base of the nation has many faces; but unlike as it is been advertised in the media, when it comes to infrastructure such as roads, you might call it the treasure base of dump. The city road design is so bad that at the slightest rainfall, the roads become flooded leading to serious traffic congestion. Port-Harcourt city has a terrible drainage system. At Nkpolu-Rumuigbo junction along the famous East-West road, the road is so bad that it has become a herculean task for residents and passerby to scale the road on a daily basis. This challenge is causing serious economic, social and environmental issues, hence, prompting an investigation. In 2017, the former president of Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MASOP), Barrister Ledum Mitee filed a suit (No: FHC/PHC/FHR/158/2017) against the Federal Government concerning the poor nature of East-West road. But as expected from our country's ever degrading legal system, till date the case is still in court. GambetaNews

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TYPICAL CROSS-SECTION OF ROADS

THE PROJECT The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in 2009 awarded the construction of section I and II of the East-West Road to SETRACO Construction Company at a construction cost of N74.7 billion. However, under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan the cost was reviewed upwards to N133.7 billion. The failed Nkpolu-Rumuigbo junction is located in the section ll subsection l of the East-West Road. According to report from SETRACO, the road was in perfect condition when it was completed and handed over to its client; the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs over five (5) years ago. However, during this investigation, it was discovered that the road began to fail due to improper drainage in channeling rainwater. There is no adequate drainage system on both sides of the road. Unlike Northern Nigeria that has low rainfall, road design in the Niger Delta Region must have suitable drainage system to cater for high rainfall. When the Operations Manager of SETRACO Construction Company, Engr. Chabel Eid was contacted, he said they have already alerted their client (Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, MNDA) about an impending flood which will cause a great damage to the road.

He also added that the root cause of the problem is a building which is blocking a major culvert and waterway from the NkpoluP U B L I S H E D BY

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Rumuigbo junction. A c c o r d i n g t o E n g r. E i d , S E T R AC O recommended that the owner of the property be paid a compensation, and the building brought down to give way for the construction of a high wall concrete drainage. Is the government willing to pay compensation? The owner of the building has however expressed his optimism of wining the case if challenged in any level concerning the building. He argued that he was issued a building per mit and a Cer tificate of Ownership (C of O) which does not empower any group or individual to tamper with his property without proper compensation. However, if compensation for the owner of the building is not an option,

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Obviously, resources are scares, and the Nigerian government at the time was not w i l l i n g t o p ay m o r e a d d i t i o n a l f e e s considering the already ballooning cost.

SETRACO has also recommended the construction of a 2-kilometer drainage which will link to another water outlet around the area. WHO IS AT FAULT? In essence, the consultants and contractor failed to do a detailed assessment while developing the project. This had a major impact on the cost of the project once construction had commenced. The owner of the illegal structure blocking the culvert is charging the government extor tionate amount for his proper ty.

WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD? A classic case of penny wise, pound foolish! Using Taxpayer money, Nigeria will still have to pay for the repair of the failed section, while coughing out more money to have a suitable drainage. Not to forget the economic impact of this failed project. These costs would have been averted if all stakeholders had done the right thing the first time. The Rivers State Government and the ObioAkpor local government authority should also look at revoking the building approval/permit given to the developer of this indiscriminate building that is blocking the culvert and waterway from the Nkpolu-Rumuigbo junction.

FORUM

Young Engineers Forum of Nigeria, 2019 Annual Technical Workshop The recently concluded A n n u a l Te c h n i c a l Workshop for the Young E n g i n e e r s Fo r u m o f Nigeria centred around Mentorship for Startups. A c c o m p l i s h e d professionals were among the speakers who used the platform to share their experiences and knowledge. As Keynote Speaker, Engr. Sir. Dr. Asinyetogha H. Igoni (lecturer at the Rivers State University) shared his thoughts on Mentorship. The Young Engineers Forum of Nigeria (YEFoN) is an arm of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, set up to provide mentoring to student, graduate and corporate members of the society that are not more than 40 years of age. These members are mentored in career and professional development through seminars, workshops, technical visits, and monthly meetings (which are held every 2nd Thursday of each month).

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