BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
THERE is a raging controversy between Plycon Construction Company Ltd, an indigenous construction firm and residents over the delay in the reconstruction of Ipaja Ayobo road.
While the contractor is giving all kinds of excuses for its inability to deliver on schedule, the residents insist that the delay is caused by sheer incompetence and lack of equipment to execute the job.
A resident, Mr Adebola Adebiyi, an engineer, said: “How will you explain a civil engineering firm using shovels to mix concrete for the building of a dual carriage way? They don’t have a single concrete mixer, for example, they had to re-work some sections of the median up to six times. Each time they joined the cast with the poorly mixed concrete they discovered that they would have fallen apart the following morning and they will have no choice than to repeat the process.”
No doubt, the slow pace of work on the road reconstruction, has become a source of worry to road users and residents of Ayobo and Igbo-Ilogbo, in Ipaja-Ayobo Local Council Development Area, LCDA. The road is the only major strategic route linking over 10 communities in the area with the metropolis.
Even the promise of a respite that the project will be delivered unfailingly in November is taken with a pinch of salt by the residents and road users in the area who say the contractors had ample dry period to do meaningful job but were waiting for the rains to set in to give them some cover up for their incompetence. The project which was awarded in May 2011 by the state government, is a dual carriage way with length of about 7.5 km and 16.0 in width.
The scope of work is to include drainage and culvert construction, median, walkway, earthwork, crush stone base course, paving stone, provision of streetlight, fire hydrant and beatification among others. For years, residents have resorted to either abandoning their vehicles at home or relocate their parking spaces at more accessible places far away from their abode. Those who are not fortunate enough suffer the pain of exorbitant fares as commercial vehicles jerked up the fares due to the bad road.
Seriousness and commitment
However, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Femi Hamzat, while reacting to the development, assured residents of the state’s government commitment to delivering a standard road at the end of the day as the situation is receiving the attention of Governor Babatunde Fashola who is interested in early completion of the project.
To further demonstrate his seriousness and commitment on early completion of the project, about two weeks ago, Governor Fashola paid an unscheduled inspection of the project and gave an ultimatum to the contractor to deliver the project as soon as possible without further delay.
Speaking last weekend, the Project Manager for the contractor, Mr. Leke Adeniji, agreed that the delivery period for the project had passed explaining that the company had some challenges and constraints which either show that it is not competent to handle the magnitude of the job or it did not do its homework before embarking on the all-important reconstruction job.
For example Adeniji was quoted as saying; “Some of the things we told the residents when they started worrying was that they should be patient with us because this is a flood prone area. We are fully committed to the actualisation of the project. All we demand from the residents of the area is to exercise patience with us. We will deliver the project within the shortest possible time.”
“ The question now is are they just knowing the terrain? Didn’t they know it was a flood-prone area before they quoted for the job? This barrage of flimsy excuses will not help Plycon, they should do the road or get out,” said a resident who pleaded anonymity.