By Obialunamma Nwadiogbu
Ekwulobia—The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project, NEWMAP, in Anambra State, has awarded four erosion control projects in four different locations in the state at the tune of over N1.5 billion. The erosion control projects, under the supervision of the World Bank, were all awarded to reputable indigenous contractors, according to a press statement from the Head, Public Relations/Media, Ministry of Environment , Awka , Emmanuel Ifesinachi (JP).
Other erosion projects, according to the Project Coordinator, are the Amachalla gully erosion, Awka would be handled by Pachucs Engineering Ltd at an agreed amount of N372m, and that of Omagba gully erosion at Onitsha costing about N219.1m is to be done by Nic & Nic Engineering Ltd.
Engr. Ebih explained that the bidding exercise was competitively and transparently done to get best out of the lots bidders, stating that the contractors, after signing their agreement papers, would proceed to take possession of their respective contract sites with the aim to start off with the preliminary preparation and logistics arrangements while the implementation of resettlement action plan (RAP) is concluded in no distant time.
The Project Coordinator reminded the contractors that the contractual duration is 12 months but that they were expected to execute 80% of the job by the end of April, 2015, that is before the rains set-in properly. He stated that the projects would be supervised by the State Project Management Unit (SPMU) with the help of Stop-Gap Supervision Team and the World Bank itself to ensure that standard and acceptable jobs are delivered to the communities.
He assured them that payment of jobs at any stage of the projects would not be a problem but that they should aim at excellence and credible performance which would attest to their companies for future job engagements.
Also speaking the representative of the State Government and the Special Assistant to the State Government on Donor Agencies, Mrs. Chinwe Iwuchukwu commended the contractors for emerging victorious, stating that the need to attend to pressing issues in the State had made the State Governor, Chief (Dr.) Willie Obiano to show particular interest on erosion problem and NEWMAP Programme.
Mrs. Iwuchukwu assured that the State Government was committed in monitoring and following trends on job execution under NEWMAP, adding that the State Government would expect excellent work delivery and within the specified periods. She reminded the companies that the State Government and the communities concerned are looking up to them to perform, and warned them not to cut corners otherwise they would be blacklisted by government.
Responding on behalf of all the representatives of the companies, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Pachucs Engineering Ltd, Prince Chuma Okolo expressed appreciation for the trust and confidence the NEWMAP and World Bank reposed on them by giving them the opportunity to participate in effort to remedy the already degraded State land.
Prince Okolo assured that his company had the capacity to deliver job on time, but called for the co-operation of the host communities He promised that his company was ready to take over the site immediately and provide itself the necessary logistics with a view to handing over the job within a short time.