Abuja Kaduna Road: I am not happy with construction by Julius Berger… DG BPP

By Gift Chapi-Odekina

The House of Representatives has expresssed worries over delay in the completion of Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos-Ibadan projects, awarded by thd Federal Government since 2013.

The House also rebuked the Bureau for Public Procurement for allegedly awarding the contract to Julius Berger, without due process.

The House Committee on Works, headed by Rep. Abubakar Kabir (Kano-APC), made the position of the Committee known at an investigative hearing yesterday.

The Lawmakers at the hearing with the Director of the Bureau of Public Procurement, Mamman Ahmadu, also queried the issuance of no-objection certificate, to the company without taking the interest of Nigerians at heart.

The critical three projects include the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna, Lagos_Ibadan road construction.

The lawmakers also picked holes in the decision by the BPP to clear for the award of a Road contract of more than 400 kilometres, to a single contractor Julius Berger

Responding, the Director General of BPP Mamman Ahmadu, said he was not satisfied with the Abuja-Kaduna road project so far following inspection.

“I’m not happy, with the work so far”, he said, in response to the Committee.

“The Lagos-Ibadan project, was conceived as public-private partnership, but no performance from the concesssioner . It was awarded during Jonathan’s time and because of poor performance, it was reawarded. The
Second Niger bridge, likewise started as BPP project, but failed to perform and it was converted to a contract financed by government and started by Julius berger.

“Abuja Kaduna Kano was initiated to Open competitive bidding and was later given out too. It was much later becos budgetary provisions was not coming regularly and government took it up to finance”, he said.

Rep. Mark Gbillah(PDP-Benue) said the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road, began as open competitive bidding, as he sought to know and asked the procurement process adopted to give the job to julius berger .

The lawmaker sought for justification on why Julius berger was awarded the contract, having not been part of the initial process

Hon. Bello Kaoje questioned the rationale behind the BPP awarding roads more than 400 kilometer to a single contractor Julius Berger

Responding Mohammed said communities where the critical projects are sighted had wanted the multinational company to handle the projects.

There was an evaluation of the three projects and based on quality, Julius berger was given the contract

“Quality is very important, so specification and quality requirement was considered.

“In our review where we thought julius berger priced a particular material expensive, we reduced it.

“Infact at a time this project came, Julius Berger said if they were allowed to do the road that they will ensure road maintenance for 30years and minimum maintenance for a few years thereafter ”

“For instance, he said, “the National Assembly should also take note, you have three blocks here and the ones built by Julius berger, see how they are still clean, and the ones built by others are going bad and need maintenance ”

He also said the JB were at the bidding stage, contrary to the position of the Committee.
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