By Noah Ocheni, Lokoja.
The contract for the construction of Itobe – Ajaokuta -Okene roads which was awarded to SCOA Motors sometimes in 2015 by Federal government has been terminated.
The Federal Controller of roads in Kogi state, Engineer Kajogbola Olatunde disclosed this while on the assessment visit to the problem areas of Ajaokuta – Itobe bridge on Friday.
Olatunde pointed out that the contract which was awarded to SCOA motors was revoked as a result of poor quality performance, adding “The contractor was actually mobilized to the site but has to stop further release of funds due to slow pace of work and sluggishness.”
Engineer Olatunde stressed that the ministry is in search of a competent contractor that could handle the construction of these federal roads which has become a death trap to motorists from the Eastern flank of the country to the northern parts.
On the Ajaokuta-Itobe bridge, the controller allayed the fears of the motorists and commuters plying the bridge in Kogi state linking the Eastern with Abuja that it is intact and can be functional for many years to come.
Engineer Olatunde noted that the attention of the ministry was drawn to the video clip which went viral and portrayed the bridge as being cut off from the joints thereby causing panic among motorists and passengers plying the highway.
According to him, the expansion joints which are eighteen in numbers , that is nine on the either side was meant to keep balancing and stability.
He added that the video clip only took cognizance of some joints covers which were removed , hinting that there was no vibration , which means no harm is done to the bridge assuring the road users to disregard the clips as it pose no threat to the road users.
The Authority correspondent observed that because of the removal of the expansion joint covers, making the underneath to be visible revealing the moving water down below caused panic among the motorists.
Engineer Olatunde explained that a contractor has been engaged by the Federal Ministry of Works who had earlier assess areas that required intervention, adding that the contractor is expected to be mobilized to site soon.