Road Project Fraud: Reps threaten sanctions, As DG BPP Shuns Summons

By Tordue Salem

The Director-General of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr. Aliyu Mamman, Thursday turned down invitation from the House of Representatives Committee on Works, to give details on its approval of a third lane for the partly abandoned N50billion Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road.

The Committee threatened to issue the sanctions on Thursday, after the panel’s deliberation on the matter on Wednesday.

The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Abubakar Kabir Abubakar (APC-Works) decried the absence of the DG.

He said it was “unacceptable and a slight on Committee for the Director-General not to appear before it and not deem it fit to write to the Committee to give his reason, for not honouring the invitation and as such there was no reason to continue with the meeting”, threaten to “issue sanctions”, if the DG did not today.

Rep. Ikenna Onyechere Elezieanya in his contribution also expressed his disappointment at Director-General for his refusal to attend the meeting.

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A motion for suspension was moved by Hon. Dandutse M. Mohammed and the motion was seconded by Hon. Ari Abdul Mohammed, leading to an adjourned dine die.
Recall that the committee had last week, ordered the construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, to submit monthly progress reports on the multi-billion Naira Abuja-Kano, Lagos-Ibadan highways.

He said the Julius Berger confirmed to the committee that it has so far received N50, 856,044,301,27 billion, representing 32 percent of the total saying but the “work progress is at 26.7percent after 18 months into the 36 month completion period”

According to Abubakar, “the committee doubts the strongly the capacity of Julius Berger Plc to deliver the remaining 73.3 percent in the next 18 months”

The committee directed the federal ministry of works and housing to consider the option of involving other contractors to handle different sections of the road to ensure the project is completed on time and save lives and property.

The meeting also resolved that Julius Berger should immediately open up the completed but closed portions on the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road and to minimize and streamline road diversions as advised by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

It equally advised Juluis Berger to immediately attend to the potholes on the road and jointly work with the ministry of works and housing and FRSC to ensure sanity and security is restored on the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road.

According to the chairman, the committee has resolved to invite the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to brief it on the certificate of no objection issued on the proposed three lane on the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road; as well as the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority to provide it with details of payments made to Julius Berger.

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