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Unemployment: Edo to engage youths in 3,000km concrete road construction

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Alexander Okere, Benin

The Edo State Government said it would engage the services of unemployed youths in the construction of 3,000 kilometres of intercity roads across the 18 local government areas before the end of 2020.

 Governor Godwin Obaseki disclosed this during the commissioning of a micro-concrete road on Nevis Street in Oredo Local Government Area of the state, in partnership with AG-Dangote.

 Obaseki noted that the initiative was part of his administration’s commitment towards providing jobs for the unemployed.

 He said that with the successful completion of the micro-concrete road on Nevis Street, which he added was first designed by the Portuguese almost 500 years ago, the state government would immediately commence the construction of 45 more roads, using the same technology.

 He explained, “We are now going to sign the agreement with AG Dangote and that agreement will involve every local government so that they (AG Dangote) will help us bring some machines, train the youths in the design and then help us bring cement and concrete so that we can build a certain number of roads in every local government.

 “My commitment is to build 3,000 kilometres of roads in my first tenure. The bulk of these roads will be built using this technology.”

 Obaseki, however, stressed the need to maximise local resources in the development of basic infrastructure in spite of the recession facing the country.

 “Going forward, we do not have to wait for foreign exchange before we can build roads because the sand is here; the laterite is here; the people are here and the concrete is here.

“With all these local raw materials, we can build all the roads we want to build in Edo State,” the governor added.

 Earlier, the Managing Director of AG-Dangote, Ashif Juma, explained that the micro-concrete road had a lifespan of over 30 years without the need for resurfacing, patching or surface sealing.

 Juma also noted that 80 per cent of the workforce was drawn from the state, while 50 youths were trained by the company in road construction, using the concrete technology.

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