Home News FG raises Bodo-Bonny Road project cost to N280bn

FG raises Bodo-Bonny Road project cost to N280bn

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David Umahi

 

The Federal Government has reviewed upwards the contract sum for the ongoing construction of the multi-billion naira Bodo-Bonny link road in Rivers State from the initial N199 billion to the sum of N280 billion.
The Minister of Works, David Umahi, who disclosed this during an inspection tour of road projects in Rivers State on Wednesday, also said the apex government has set December 15, 2024, as the target date for the completion and commissioning of the project.
Umahi explained that the Federal Ministry of Works is harmonising contracts based on priority and the availability of funds to see such projects to completion.
While noting that President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited over 2,600 uncompleted road projects, the minister said the projects are to be executed based on fairness and equity across the geo-political zones and states due to paucity of funds.

The minister, who addressed journalists shortly after the inspection, emphasized that the sum of money paid to contractors should correspond with the completed projects, saying, “And this is what we are going to be looking at, at the ministry of works. Contractors should not be having our money to that extent,” he said.
He noted that the ministry will do its part including timely payment of milestones, to ensure that Julius Berger completes the project in record time and solicits their commitment.
Umahi stated, “Shortly a while ago we arrived at the zenith zero of the famous Bodo-Bonny road being handled by Julius Berger. We have had some running battles with Berger. For Berger, they needed to complete the road and for the Ministry of Works, the road must not be completed at all costs.
“The job must be completed within the limited resources available to the Federal Government.  However, we have caved into the demands of Berger and I’m also happy that Berger caved in, in the other locations where we have differences like the Abuja/Kano road, second Niger Bridge, Lagos/Ibadan, Odukpani in Cross River, that’s give and take.
“So we are not unhappy about agreeing to the cost that Berger posed to us so we have accepted the cost, so the project has been reviewed to a final figure of N280 Billion and that is the completion cost. “
On the Akpajo/Eleme section of the East-West Road, the Minister flayed the abandonment of the project by the contractor, Reynolds Construction Company.
Umahi stated, “We are on the East-West Road, presently the contractor is not working and we are very sad with the manner and behaviour of this contractor, RCC.
“We have been having a running battle starting from quality of work to delays and all manner of tricks including engaging the communities for politics so that you perpetually keep them.
“The entire road is in a terrible mess. And the contractor must be warned because when the restiveness of the people of this area will start, he (contractor) will not be able to carry it.”
He revealed that the ministry is working on all sessions of the East/West road to ensure completion, adding that flood-prone areas will be constructed on concrete pavements.
On the Mbiama section of the East-West Road, he said: “We are raising the height of the road by one metre so that it will be totally out of the flood plain.
“The only way we can achieve success in our road projects is proper monitoring and that is the Hallmark of what we will embark on at the Ministry of Works. When you don’t push contractors they may tend to slack except very few of them.
“So we are harmonising contracts so that we will continue with only contracts that we are sure that we have enough money to execute and we are going to prioritize projects. We inherited over 2,600 projects and we don’t have all the money to continue all of them.”
Umahi added, “So we are going to prioritise them based on fairness and equity across the zones and of course across the states, even as he commended President Tinubu, the contractors and staff for their commitment to ensuring completion of the various ongoing road projects across the zones.”

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