By Gift Chapi Odekina
The House of Representatives Committee on Works has threatened the revocation of the Abuja-Kaduna-Abuja road contract due to delays in the execution of the project by the Contractors’, Julius Berger PLC.
The committee said it might be forced to ask the government to reaward the contract to several other contractors to ensure that the project is completed within the life span of the Buhari government.
The committee expressed disappointment with the pace of work in the Abuja-Kaduna road nine months to the expiration of the deadline for the completion of the project.
The committee members were particularly disappointment that after about 27 months since the commencement of work on the project, only less than 10 percent of the work has been completed.
Chairman of the House Committee on Works, Rep. Abubakar Kabir Abubakar (APC, Kano) who spoke on the progress of work so far carried out while inspecting the project as part of the Committee’s oversight function however told the Contractors, Julius Berger that they must deliver on the contract by May 2021 which is the terminal date for the contract.
He said that the House will not accept any extension of the completion date or a veriation of the project, adding that it was disappointing that with only nine months left on the contract, there no satisfactory progress on the work.
However, the North Central Zonal Director of Works in the Federal Ministry of Works, Engr. Kunle Yusuf told the Committee that 40 percent of the work on section one of the project (Abuja-Kaduna) covering about 62 kilometres has been completed even when work was yet to commence on over 100 kilometers of the road.
Section one of the Project is about 165 kilometers.
Rep. Kabir said inspite of the lack of funding for the project as attested to by the contractors, they have jot shown any form of seriousness in completing the project saying “N155 billion is no small money”.
He said if the company lack the capacity to deliver the project on schedule, it should be revoked and reawarded to several other companies so that it will be completed on schedule.
He said as a result of the delay in completing the project, several lives have been lost on the road, adding that “we cannot continue to loss lives on this road”.
Members of the committee complained and it the pace and quality of work being done by the contractors as well as lack of safety measure at the construction site.