The ministry gave various reasons for the delay in completing the road.
Mike Onolememen, the Minister of Works, who performed the commissioning ceremony on Tuesday, said the road would boost socio-economic activities in the host communities and in the country at large.
The 7.3 metres-wide asphalt concrete carriageway cuts 21 metres deep through a huge mountain on the Plateau axis. The project was awarded to P. W Nigeria Ltd. on November 15, 1999 with May 15, 2001 set as completion deadline.
A brief on the project, which was submitted to the minister by P. Dieyi, the Federal Controller of Works in Plateau, said the initial deadline was missed due to some constraints.
It said the constraints included the difficult terrain.
Mr. Onolememen expressed delight over the quality of the project, which he said was of world standard.
“The project, awarded since 1999, was stalled due to a lot of challenges. But, with the coming of President Goodluck Jonathan, we were given the marching order to bring this project to completion.
“The terrain is a particularly difficult one, and this is one of the wonders of engineering. This is a first-class road, and it is a road that can be compared with anyone in the world.
“In fact this road has been well constructed and we are happy that the project, which was taken over by the Federal Ministry of Works sometime last year, has finally been delivered,” he said.
On the social and economic benefits of the road, the minister remarked that it would promote mining activities in the country, thereby enhancing Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr. Onolememen assured road users in the country of better days with the on-going transformation of the road sector under Jonathan’s administration.
“We are in the Plateau now. Very soon we will move to geo-political zones of the country to commission other projects which the ministry has completed,” he said.
The minister urged Nigerians to refrain from the abuse of road infrastructure in the country, either by arbitrary parking at the edges, burning of tyres or roadside sand and granite excavation.
“Nigerians should know that any road alignment in this country is constructed by the government to serve the needs of the people and to promote economic growth and national integration.
“So, we all have a responsibility to ensure that the roads are properly maintained. Our attitude to the roads should be such that all our actions should be preserving the good state of the roads,’’ he said.
The Head of Vwang District in Plateau, Choji Bala, expressed the community’s appreciation to the Federal Government on the completion and commissioning of the road.
”Our people are very happy about this road. About 10 years ago we were trekking on the hills to Manchok, but now it is very simple. We are very grateful to Jonathan for it,” he said.