26 February 2013

Nigeria: Maku, Delta Officials Differ On Road Project

Delta — Information Minister Labaran Maku has expressed concerns over the pace with which the contractor handling the Trans Warri/Ode Itsekiri road in Delta State is working.

Maku, who spoke when he led the National Good Governance Tour team on an inspection tour of the project, expressed disappointment that over six years after the contract was awarded to Setraco Nigeria Ltd, very little work has been done.

Our correspondent reports that the N27 billion project was meant to be completed in 2010, but that only five kilometres out of 23 have been worked on and only seven out of 20 bridges have been built.

The minister said the slow pace of work was a reflection of the unimpressive performance exhibited by Setraco at the East-West road project.

But the project manager, Fawzi Nehmani, blamed the delay of the East-West road project on insecurity and that of the Warri/Ode Itsekiri road on what he described as an extremely difficult terrain. He, however, assured that the project will be completed by 2015.

Delta State officials who were present at the site agreed with the contractors that the delay was due to the difficult terrain.

But Maku said insecurity should not be a reason for the poor performance as there are other companies on the same stretch of road that have done their work properly.

On the difficult terrain, the minister argued that the contractor was aware of the terrain before bidding for the project.

"I think you just have to take our observations, but if you think it is not okay, then we withdraw our comments," he said.

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