By Chris Ochayi
The Federal Government has expressed disappointment over the shallow and shoddy manner at which the consultant firm handled the Baro, Lot 5 of Lower River Niger dredging project, lamenting that incoherent activities of the consultant has resulted in the extension of the completion of the project by another five months.
Minister of Transport, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman who stated weekend at Baro, Niger State, when he inspected work done on 2 of the 5 Lots of the on- going dredging of the Lower Niger, expressed his sadness that the consultant of the project had contributed to the lateness of the completion of the dredging project.
The capital project of the dredging has been earlier slated for June 2010 for completed, but now shifted to November 2010 owing to some technical failures on part of the consultant.
He disclosed that, while the consultant for the project had earmarked about 900,000(Nine Hundred, Thousand) cubic meters of sand to be dredged on Lot 5 (Jamata-Baro), the contractor has already dredged over 1,000,000 (One Million) cubic metres of sand with less than 10% of the job done. It is now estimated that an estimated volume of about 7,000,000 (Seven Million) cubic metres of sand will be dredged in Lot 5.
To this end, the Minister said, the Federal Government will sit with the contractor, William Lloyd Technical Company Ltd towards clearing the grey areas and ensure overall project completion before the end of the year. The capital dredging would have been completed by June this year while maintenance dredging runs for 2 years.
He explained further â€œLot 3 (Idah to Onitsha) is delayed because the contractor Van Oord Nigeria Company Ltd is also handling Lot 4 (Onitsha to Jamata) and because of this, dwelt on lot 4 to the detriment of lot 3.Lot 4 has achieved over 85% project completion.Â The project Director of Van Oord Company has however promised to deliver the job before the end of the yearâ€.
It would be recalled, the Dredging of the Lower Niger which was flagged off by late President Umaru Yarâ€™ Adua had earlier been scheduled for completion by June this year. While the other 3 lots have recorded substantial level of completion, some up to 85%, Lots 3 and 5 still have substantial work undone.
Yusuf Suleiman also expressed similar sentiments at the construction site of the Baro Port where he instructed the contractor HCCG to ensure that the 24-month duration is strictly adhered to.
The contractor also promised to deliver the job on schedule. He however stated that lack of a good access road to the site had severely hampered his efforts.