September 21, 2023

FG reads riot act to contractors handling Abuja, Port Harcourt roads

FG needs 18.6trn to fix federal roads in four years - Minister


…gives them 2weeks ultimatum to complete remedial works

John Alechenu, Abuja

The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi has given contractors handling remedial works on Federal Roads in Abuja and Port Harcourt two weeks to complete their respective works.

Umahi have the ultimatum while inspecting ongoing road projects in Rivers State and environs on Thursday.

He also directed state Controllers of Works to ensure that only road projects where motorists can go through the leanth and breath are given certificates of payment for him to sign.

He said, “I have directed that any project that motor users cannot go through the entire length and breadth of the project awarded to a contractor, I will not sign the certificate, contractors must maintain all the roads,  the length and breath within their contract.

“I am directing the controllers and Directors of the Regions to ensure between Abuja and Port Harcourt they must fix the remedial works within the next 14days.”

Umahi equally announced that the Federal Government will no longer accept road contract certificate  for payment generated by one person.

A statement by the Director  Information, Press and Public Relations Unit of the Ministry, Blessing Lere-Adams, quoted the Minister as saying this while inspecting some roads within Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.

Umahi was quoted as saying, “ No longer will certificate for payment be generated by one person. The contractor must sign it, resident engineer as well. State controllers, regional controllers, and  they will all ensure inspections are done, state Commissioners of Works shall generate work done,prepare the certificate with  calculations and geotechnical reports , sketches and valuation,then  they will bring it to me , the moment I see that things are working I will sign within 6hours.”

The Minister further said “How could a payment certificate be given for a road that has failed and the contractor is on site and you turn around to blame the leaders, who signs the papers ?

“You  sign the paper and originate the certificate but I have directed that enough is enough, they must show me how increase in our contracts come about , anyone can sign a paper for them to pay but as for me I will not sign anything that I don’t know how it came about.

“ If you want to do ashphalt continue with it but you must sign a performance bond that the road must not fail within the life time of the project , I want Nigerians to know that overloading is not responsible for failure of the road , most of the contractors have jobs in more than ten locations with two equipment so they cannot cope with the volume of jobs”

The Minister equally directed that any contractor without COREN Certified Engineer must not be allowed to work , he maintained that any consultant or civil servant that behaved the way they have been behaving their certificate would  be withdrawn .

Umahi expressed  President Bola Tinubu’s determination to end the sufferings of the road users in Nigeria.

He said, “Road is everything to this country , road is everything to  Commerce, road is everything to Solid Mineral, Medicine, Education, Agriculture  and to Food Security.”

The Minister was approached by youths of Eleme during his inspection for upgrading of four lanes to six lanes for  Eleme junction to Onne junction road projects  in Rivers State where he promised them that he would work with the youths to ensure that the road does not remain the same .

Earlier, the Eleme Local Government Area Chairman, Hon.Obarilomate Ollor who spoke on behalf of the youths said, “ I thank the Minister for coming to inspect this road on behalf of Mr President , this bad road has been responsible for the untimely death of so many people and more that ten thousands of vehicles ply this route daily , and from what you have said the youths will cooperate with you to deliver this project and we will not make unnecessary request”

Some of the projects inspected by the  Minister in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states included,  Aba- Port Harcourt road , Bodo Bonny road , Ogoni bridge ,  Reconstruction  of Abak – Ekparakwa –Ette- Ikot Abasi road and the dualisation of the  East West Road Section four  at Eket By Pass.