• en

Nigeria Reviews Bodo/Bonny Road Project to N280bn

Works Minister Dave Umahi says the federal government has set a December 15 date to complete the Bodo/Bonny Road project.

Nigeria’s Minister of Works, David Umahi says the Federal Government has reviewed the contract for the ongoing Bodo/Bonny link road in Rivers State to N280billion from the previous cost of N199billion.

The Minister also said that the federal government has set December 15 this year as target for the completion and commissioning of the project.

He pointed out that the ministry is harmonizing contracts in order to execute only those that there is enough money for completion. 

The Minister who noted that the present administration inherited over 2,600 uncompleted road projects, said the projects are to be executed on the basis of fairness and equity across the zones and states because of paucity of funds.

Umuahi spoke during projects inspection tour in Rivers State, yesterday. He condemned the abandonment of the Akpajo/Eleme stretch of the East-West road by the contractor, Reynolds Construction Company (RCC).

The Minister who addressed journalists shortly after the inspection tour, said the amount of money paid to contactors should correspond with the project completed. “And this is what we are going to be looking at, at the ministry of works. Contractors should not be having our money to that extent,” he said.

He revealed that the ministry is working on all sessions of the East/West road to ensure completion, adding that flood prone areas will be constructed on concrete pavements.

He said: “We are raising the height of the road by one metre so that it will be totally out of the flood plain. 

“The only way we can achieve success in our road projects is proper monitoring and that is the Hallmark of what we will embark on at the Ministry of Works. When you don’t push contractors they may tend to slack with exception of very few of them. 

“So we are harmonising contracts so that we will continue with only contracts that we are sure that we have enough money to execute and we are going to prioritize projects. 

“We inherited over 2,600 projects and we don’t have all the money to continue all of them. So we are going to prioritize them on the basis of fairness and equity across the zones and of course across the states”.

He said “Mr. President has been paying and when we pay we want to recover the advance payment immediately before we pay more so that we will not have our monies in the hands of contractors and they will be telling us VOP and all of that. VOP is being used to stifle the federal government but I also pity some of the contractors over payments.” 

On the Bodo/Bonny road project, Umahi noted that the ministry will do its part including timely payment of milestones, to ensure that Julius Berger completes it on record time and sought for their commitment. 

“Shortly a while ago we arrived at the zenith zero of the famous Bodo/Bonny road being handled by Julius Berger. We have had some running battle with Berger. For Berger they needed to complete the road and for Ministry of Works the road must not be completed at all cost. The job must be completed within the limited resources available to the Federal Government. 

“However, we have caved in to the demands of Berger and I am also happy that Berger caved in, in the other locations where we have differences like the Abuja/Kano road, second Niger Bridge, Lagos/Ibadan, Odukpani in Cross River, that’s give and take. So we are not unhappy for agreeing to the cost that Berger posed to us so we have accepted the cost, so the project has been reviewed to a final figure of N280billion and that is final completion cost. 

“And so we came to see the level of mobilisation, that’s just about four or five days ago and we are happy that Berger’s presence is felt on site. We’ve also directed the Director of Projects to process their certificate,” he stated.

He, therefore, commended President Bola Tinubu, the contractors and staff for their commitment to ensuring completion of the various ongoing road projects across the zones.

On their part, the Project Director, Julius Berger, Benjamin Bott, the Manager, Government Relations, LNG, representing the Managing Director, Godson Dienye, and the Chairman of the Peace Committee for the Bodo/Bonny road project, Prof Jasper Jumbo, respectively, thanked the Minister for his commitment to ensuring that the project is executed and pledged commitment to its completion.

Projects inspected by the minister included the Bodo/Bonny link road project, the Akpajo Eleme and as well the Mbiama/Ahoada stretch of the East/West road.

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt 

Follow us on: