14 May 2018

Nigeria: Govt May Terminate Section of Abuja-Lokoja Road Contract Over Delays

The Federal Government is considering suspending Bulletin Construction Company Limited from further handling a section of the Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja road project.

This is even as the government has embarked on massive rehabilitation of major highways connecting states in the North- Central zone of the country.

The Director of Highways Construction and Rehabilitation Department, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (FMPWH) Engr. Dayyabu Mamman gave the hint of the possible contract termination during an inspection of projects in Kogi, Kwara and Niger states led by the Minister of States II Power, Works and Housing Mr. Suleiman Hassan Zarma.

Mamman said during the inspection that the contractor vacated project site since December 2017, lamenting that the delay of the project was giving the government sleepless nights aside from numerous accidents recorded particularly on the section of the highway.

"There are so many accidents on this road and this is because of the delay in project execution. The staff left site since December last year and it's been giving us a lot of sleepless nights," he said.

When asked by the minister what measure would be taken, Mamman advised that, "the project should be terminated by the Federal Government," adding that, "For the past five months, they have not returned to site so we have no other alternative than to terminate the contract."

The Site Engineer of the project, Mr. Peter Omenye attributed the delay to a strike action embarked by the construction workers.

He admitted it was already five months since the workers' union commenced the strike.

According to him, the firm has appealed the union but they declined to change their position.

The Minister of State also inspected other infrastructural projects being undertaken by the Federal Government in each of the three states.

They include the National Housing Estates and power plant projects which he confirmed over N3 trillion has been committed on all the infrastructural projects.

Earlier when he inspected the first of the four phase dualization of the Abuja -Abaji-Lokoja road, the minister lauded the progress of work at the Section I of the road project at Gwagwalada-Giri handled by Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company.

At the Koton-karfe/Lokoja road C/No. 5885 section handled by Gitto construction company, the minister expressed satisfaction with work done while residents of the area pleaded with government to complete the road to avoid the challenges faced by the community especially during rainy seasons.

The federal controller of works representing Kogi State Engr. Kajogbola Jimoh Olatunji said the slow pace of work in the state was attributed to security challenges. He appealed to the Federal Government to beef up the security on the sites.

"About three Chinese contractors from GCG were kidnapped about three times and one was even killed recently in December last year so they were advised to move back to Abuja where they were operating from," he said.

The team also inspected the 42.9 kilometer Obajana- Kabba ongoing road construction handled by the Messers Dangote Cement Plc. Work on the road started in December 2016 and is expected to be completed in December 2018 and the project has so far attained about 38. 87 percent completion.

The Minister of State and his team who also inspected the Offa by-pass road and the Afon- Aboto- Oyo State boundary road in Kwara State handled by Ticktos construction company said the road will help boost economic activities in the State.

At the famous Tatabu bridge close to Jebba town in Kwara state which collapsed last year, work was seen in progress and has attained about 90 percent completion.

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