Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, yesterday unveiled a scientific device – the Automated Road Analyser (ARAN) that would monitor and ensure that road projects were done according to specifications.
Inaugurating the ARAN vehicles at Government House, Port Harcourt, Amaechi explained that the road analyser would be used by his administration to check quality of work done on road projects according to laid-down specifications.
He said the vehicles would be driven on newly constructed roads to determine their quality.
The Governor said the measure would check fraudulent activities of some road contractors who fail to adhere to project specifications when constructing roads in the State.
Amaechi said, “The project has been commissioned already by what I directed them to do. I asked them to take the measurement of the quantities on Ada George road because we have paid up a lot of money on Ada George and the road is supposed to move from 15cm to 80cm both on the wearing cost and the final cost, so that it can last for a very, very long time; the same quality of work we did on Port Harcourt-Owerri road. There is also Elioparanwo road where I also asked them to take measurements.
“What this does for you is that contractors who are used to fraud in road construction will now know that they cannot succeed, because as they are working, these vehicles are expected to take measurements of the quantities that they have put in place because there are quantities on all contracts and most contractors who want to cheat you will just not do that, because you can’t see the quantities unless you measure by scientific means. What this does is that you bring science and technology into monitoring and evaluation of the work that they have done.”
Amaechi explained that the monitoring devices would be manned by trained personnel from the State’s Ministry of Works and from the Office of the Board of Project Procurement (BOPP).
Director General, Office of Public Procurement, Mr. Franklin Nlerum, said the equipment were secured to introduce a scientific basis of assessing level of work done on roads in the state with exact information on the projects and promote transparency in execution.
Nlerum said, “The purpose of the Automated or Automatic Road Analyser (ARAN) is to introduce an empirical or a scientific-basis of assessing road and managing road infrastructure. So once you drive it on a road, it will be able to give you the conditions of the road, the smoothness of the road and it will help you determine when to repair or reconstruct a road.
“It will give you the exact information from each road that would be used to assess what the specifications of each road is. You know, when engineers go to the field, they do monitoring work and write report.
The room for dispute and disagreement is large but when you have a scientific basis like this automated process that is reputable, the accuracy is guaranteed; because it doesn’t matter who, once you know how to operate it, you will get the same result. So what it does is to improve transparency and make for reputability of the exercise.”