He noted that the short lifespan of roads necessitated his recent proposal to the President to redesign and construct yet-to-be-completed federal roads using reinforced concrete.
Umahi noted: “So I briefed Mr. President on what we are doing by introducing reinforced concrete technology for our road pavements.
However, Umahi vowed to “fight” entities poised to frustrate this plan, saying, “I know that there are a lot of fights from contractors, but I’m David, I’m known for fight and I will fight this because I’ve reported myself to Mr. President.”
Meanwhile, the minister said he had received the president’s blessings to adopt the concrete reinforced pavements for roads across the country.
He said: “Incidentally, Mr. President is also an infrastructure guru and he fully supports that we should use reinforced concrete for our road pavements.
“So there is no other place you can report me other than to report me to God. So Mr. President is supporting me that way. We’ll redesign our roads in reinforced concrete pavement.
“I’m aware that the contractors have been quarreling and arguing. So, I want to declare that I’m open to any kind of blackmail, but my eyes are on the ball. And my eyes are on how we can get Nigerians to have value for the money. That is the assignment President Bola Tinubu gave to me and I’m going to do that with the fear of God”, he said.
The minister also revealed that he had written the NNPC to release monies for the East-West Road, saying, “I know that’s what the Rivers people mentioned when they came to see Mr. President. So that road is going to be on concrete.”
Having toured the southeast and parts of the Northwest and Northcentral, he said he would now focus on the Southwest, particularly Lagos State, where works are ongoing on the Third Mainland Bridge, Carter Bridge, Liverpool Bridge, the Eko Bridge and Marine Bridge.
He stated: “I want to see things for myself and appraise the ongoing projects. I want to see who is doing a good job and who is doing a bad job. So I briefed Mr. President about that.”