April 25, 2017

Why fed projects foot drag in N’Delta — Engr David-West (Snr)

By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa

YENAGOA- RENOWNED  highway engineer and Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Highway Engineers, FHINE, Engr. Mayne David-West (Snr) has given reasons why completion of federal projects suffers unwarranted delays in the Niger Delta region.

Mayne David-West, in a statement, said that inadequate budgetary provisions, hindrance in payment of certified works within the stipulated time frame in the contract and initial community problems, all conspire to interrupt the completion of major federal road projects in the region.

According to him, “It is difficult to swallow that a 33.5km road project awarded since 2009 has a completion status of only 47.76 per cent as at now. The Federal Government should do all it can to facilitate the completion of stalled projects in the region.

“Each time there is delay in a project, it pushes the price up. A project like Bodo-Bonny Road has been in the realm of dreams since 1974. In 1990, we carried out some preliminary studies and produced inception report and drawings on this road and the preliminary cost estimate was just a few hundred million naira then, but today, that project will cost nothing less than N150 billion.

“The Bodo-Bonny road alignment, which is proposed to run initially along the eastern periphery of Bonny Island, crosses the Nanabie and then flies over Opobo Channel and Patrick Creek before running through Bodo to Mogho Junction after a distance of about 39 kilometers,” he added.

On the recent tour of abandoned and ongoing road projects in the region by the Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Babatunde Raji Fashola, he described the visit as “commendable” and “reassuring”.

He said:”The Minister’s tour of projects sites will help consolidate the gains of the recent visit of the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and restore the people’s confidence.”