FRC decries abandonment of FG road contract in Abia

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Okpuhute-Mbato Junction-Orie Market-Lomara Road

THE Fiscal Responsibility Commission has decried the abandonment of 10-kilometer Okpuhute-Mbato Junction-Orie Market-Lomara Road, awarded to Enerco Construction Co. in 2000.

Mr Charles Abana, the leader of the team on Project Verification and Monitoring from the commission, made the disclosure when the team visited the site.

Abana told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Wednesday that the project was awarded by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

The commission expressed regret that the project had yet to show any significant progress since it was awarded  10 years ago.

He said that the contractor handling the project was not on ground to provide the relevant information on the contract sum, scope, duration, work done and money collected, if any.
He said, “The project appears to be on a serious threat of abandonment.”
The team leader further said that the ministry official on the verification team claimed not to have any meaningful information on the project “because of the long years of inactivity.”
“We were however, told by the natives that for the past 10 years since the project was awarded, nothing much has been done.
“The contractor was supposed to rehabilitate the road up to the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
“We traversed the entire length of the road to see things for ourselves. So there is a serious fundamental problem with the project.
“Because we have not been given sufficient information to work with, we will continue to engage the contractor and relevant ministry officials to be able to see what the problem is.
“We do not want any project to be abandoned. I am sure some money may have been spent but we do not have information on that.
“But if money was spent on the project, then we shall talk about the value for the money.
“We will want to know if the contract was revoked and why or whether it was reawarded.
“There is still a lot of things that are not clear about the project. We have seen the site and are going to make further inquiries about it,” Abana said.
He said the team observed that the company’s yard was overgrown with weeds and there were no equipment on the site to further prove the state of inactivity on the project after some clearing and earth work was done.
He said that aside from the road, there was also a major erosion control project in the area, which also stalled.
NAN reports that the team also inspected the extent of work on the 2.5 kilometer Uzi-Uhabire-Umuchime-Orioji Ossa Road in Umuahia also awarded by the ministry.
Abana said he was impressed with the performance of I.I.C Construction Company Ltd., handling the project.
He however, said that the project was slowed down due to lack of funds, adding that the road was not captured in the 2020 budget.
The Site Engineer, Mr Jerry Imo, said that the contract was awarded in January 2019 at the cost of about N400 million and that work commenced in March 2019.
Imo said that aside from the 15 per cent mobilisation, the company had not received any other funds but had accomplished over 50 per cent of the project.
He said that the company would not be able to deliver the job within the 18-month period because of poor funding.
He attributed the achievement so far made to the resolve of the company’s Managing Director, Chief Emeka Igwe, to fund the project from other sources.

NAN

– Dec. 9, 2020 @ 18:56 GMT |

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