22 September 2012

Nigeria: Government to Punish Erring Contractors

In order to put a stop to the decay of highways across the country, the federal government has threatened to punish erring contractors by limiting their activities to small lots.

Speaking during a meeting with highway contractors in Abuja yesterday, the Minister of works, Mike Onolememen, berated contractors handling the Abuja-Lokoja, Kano-Maiduguri and Onitsha-Enugu road for abandoning work on these roads.

He disclosed that a committee would be set up to review the activities of the contractor handling the Kano-Maiduguri road with a view to recommending adequate measures necessary to complete work on the road.

The minister, who was visibly angry at the lack of interest shown by contractors to draw resources from the pool of funds available in the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P), maintained that the future of the SURE-P programme depends on the progress of contractors in the next three months.

He said that the economic management team has set up a dateline on the delivery of projects.

The minister revealed that contractors handling federal government projects have not been able to draw from the more than N 60bn available in the reinvestment programme due to their non-seriousness at executing contracts in their care.

According to him, since February 2012, the ministry has ensured that all contractors handling on-going projects were paid their emoluments.

While he maintained that government reserves the right to review contracts awarded to contractors, Onolememen emphasised that contractors must return to sites and complete work on pot holes and alignment of already built but dilapidating roads before embarking on the completion of road projects in their care.

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