Why Nigeria still suffers poor quality roads — NHITE, NBRRI

Taiwo Ajayi
6 Min Read
Federal road
Despite efforts to improve infrastructure, the Nigerian Highway Institution and Transportation Engineers (NHITE) and the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) have shed light on why the country continues to struggle with subpar road conditions.

The Director General of NBRRI, Prof. Samson Duna, lamented the importation of substandard construction materials by contractors in the country stressing that they remain a major scourge to quality and durable road construction.

He made the assertion when he received a delegation of NIHITE, at his office on Wednesday in Abuja.

He further stated that contractors inundate the country with substandard materials since they are not subjected to testing.

Duna said the agency saddled with the responsibility of conducting technical research on suitable building and road construction design has observed this trend and called upon road contractors to desist from such acts.

He said: “A very important reason why our roads are failing is that we are using inferior materials that were not tested. NBRRI has one of the best laboratories in the country. For now, there is no institution, and there is no research agency that has laboratory civil engineering equipment like that of NBRRI but these inferior materials get imported.

READ ALSO: Former NBRRI CEO Urges Nigeria: Embrace Local Materials to Tackle Soaring Housing Costs

“NBRRI has one of the best laboratories in the country. For now, there is no institution, there is no research agency that can best talk about laboratories in civil engineering equipment like that of NBRRI.

“NBRRI has imported quite a lot of equipment within the past three years so that is why we are extending a hand of fellowship with NHITE to partner and utilize this material to construct our roads and if standard materials are used, our road will be lasting, our road will be durable and it will have low maintenance as far as where the road is constructed.”

The DG revealed that the institute has conducted a lot of research and studies on several roads like the Enugu Port Harcourt Road, Bauchi-Gombe Road, and Bauchi Kano Road.

“We did a lot of road research and part of what we had discovered basically is that low-quality material was used during the construction. The process of construction was not adhered to. The quality of raw material used, even the lattice used for the road construction was not there. The level of compaction was not adhered to. The drainages have failed.

“And the other thing, how to conclude the issue of maintenance. Every structure needs to be maintained when there is a small portfolio on the road. If we don’t maintain it by tomorrow, it becomes two or three times and that’s part of the bedrock and so on.”

Speaking further, Prof. Duna revealed that the institute will be hosting a capacity training programme to initiate discussion on the use of rigid or pavement.

READ ALSO: Former NBRRI CEO Urges Nigeria: Embrace Local Materials to Tackle Soaring Housing Costs

“We intend to carry out a comprehensive training together and this training is holistic. This training will be practically oriented. We use our equipment in the lab to produce materials and we intend to test the material in the field. So you can see it’s a training that does not end on paper. It will end with a practical demonstration”, he said.

Corroborating, the National Chairman of NHITE, Engr. Hassan Saidu, stressed the need for collaboration in strengthening the quality of road construction in the country.

He stated: “We are here to further strengthen our collaboration with NBRRI in terms of handling local and international training, technical visits to project sites, career talks to schools between our team and NBRRI team.”

Engr. Saidu explained that they have also planned to implement some of the research works they had together with the institute.

“Our visit here is to emphasize some of these things we have been doing together and see it to fruition the research works in the nearest future.”

“We are proud of our collaboration with NBRRI, especially through local and international training and we are also trying to carry out some of the research work that has been carried out by this great organization. In fact, our coming here is to emphasize some of these things that we have been doing and ensure they come to fruition and make the work of research be seen by everybody in this country.

“Even now, in terms of training, we are planning a workshop to discuss rigid and flexible pavement design. It is an informational workshop and we are ready to educate the public on that”, he said.

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