Engineer (Dr.) Mohammed Lawal Magaji Opens Up On Governor El-Rufai’s On- going Urban Renewal Projects
Kaduna, North -West, Nigeria
Engineer (Dr.) Mohammed Lawal Magaji is the Managing Director, Kaduna State Roads Agency( KADRA).
In this interview with journalists recently at his office , he gave update on the ongoing Urban Renewal projects being carried out by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s led administration.
He also explains why the project might be completed within scheduled periods despite the huge resources needed to execute them.
Kaduna State is witnessing massive road construction projects across the metropolitan areas, could you avail us update on level of work done?
So far , we thank God that the Urban Renewal Road projects have been going on smoothly without hitch. We don’t need to tell anyone about the unprecedented road network projects in the State.
Within the two months that we started work, at least, we are now working on seven various roads:
The Millennium City to Eastern By- pass where we are doing the earth works, we have completed the clearance from Urban shelter road linking to Yakowa Road ;Katuru Road, which have been completed and opened for use, Alkali road, which has also been completed and opened for use.
Drainage work is in progress at Waff Road. We are working at Yakubu Gowon Way, FRCN road from Malali to Ungwan Dosa and several others .
Contractors are also working on the precast element of the drainage at their yards so that once they excavate, within the shortest period of time, we will see drainages completed. We are also relocating electricity lines ; transformers and water pipes.
On the compensation issues for these roads that I mentioned, we have completed the payment of compensation .
We are going to pick up more roads among the twenty roads to be constructed, then they are also carrying out sub soil investigation for the bridge construction at Kabala Costain by the river banks and also the river bed of River Kaduna.
They have done that of the Leventis roundabouts, where we are going to have another bridge.
There will be an underpass from Yakubu Gowon Way to market, while from Kawo to Sabo-Tasha, you go on the bridge.
Q: In this era of paucity of funds and difficulty encountered in revenue generation , how would the government fund these massive projects ?
You see, the Governor, His Excellency Mal. Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufai has vision and foresight, so he knows what it takes to get funds for these projects. So far, let me tell you, the issue of funding for these urban renewal projects is no problem. It’s the contractors that will put more to get the jobs done . Funding so far is not an issue.
Q: We noticed the Katuru and Alkali Roads were completed within record time and are already put to use, how did you achieve this feat?
Initially people thought that it would not be possible to achieve the feat we have achieved but seeing Katuru and Alkali roads completed within the shortest period of time, they now know it is achievable. I foresee a situation where we might complete the projects earlier than the two years (the twenty four months) that is earmarked for the urban renewal projects. We are working round the clock in line with the Governor’s directive and we hope to deliver according to plan .
But along the line, some roads were included because of their importance. Roads such as the Aliyu Makama road dualization, the Lugard Hall roundabouts to the one that comes from Rabah Road .So, as we are working , more roads are being added to take care of the needs of the people.
So far, I think we would meet the deadline for the completion of these projects .
Q: With this speed at which contractors are working, how do you ensure standard ?
Luckily these contractors are international and known contractors with records of standard and they don’t compromise . More so, that we are giving all the necessary support, our supervision team are always on ground and I also check the work almost if not, every time they are working, l go there to see. For us, we put more emphasis on quality control.
At each stage of the work we carry out conformity test to ensure work done is standard and our code of practice. Apart from that, we make sure that all tests are carried out during construction. Specifications made with close supervision and understanding with contractors to give the best and achieve the desired result.
We are always communicating to ensure that if there is any problem, we immediately sort out the gray areas without delay.
The time we take in fast tracking issues and solution to any problem that comes is immediate, hence the result of which is fast pace of work
Q: What are you doing to minimize the inconveniences caused by the construction works and your message for residents during the construction periods?
It is normal when there is such massive development projects , there would be inconveniences. But we gave serious consideration to that factor, hence, we provide alternative diversion to ease difficulties during construction.
We have several routes that you can take off the construction sites so that there will be movement and no gridlock during the construction. It is a matter of time. We urge residents to be patient. Once we complete these projects, everyone will be happy and Kaduna will be great again.
We think of what we want to achieve and what we would get after the construction is done. Let’s cast our minds on the end results and bare all the inconveniences for now; knowing that after the whole work, we would say thank God, these construction projects took place during our time.