• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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FG gives contractor six months to complete Bodo-Bonny Road project

FG gives contractor six months to complete Bodo-Bonny Road project

The federal government has given Julius Berger, the contractor on Bodo-Bonny Road project, six months to complete and deliver the project. The contractor has also been directed to mobilise to the site within seven days or risk contract termination.

By that action, the federal government is putting relief on the way for motorists facing transportation challenges on that road in the South-South region of Nigeria. It is expected that completing the road will also enhance the socio-economic prospects of the two communities of Rivers State.

David Umahi, Minister of Works, who disclosed the government’s action during his inspection visit to the project site recently, also revealed that N280 billion has been approved for the project, insisting that the amount of money paid needed to correspond with the project completed.

He, however, enjoined the contractor to ensure that no further excuses were given on the project delivery timeline. Federal Government would not approve further funds for the project for any reason of variation whatsoever.

“In case the devil comes to play, whatever happens, we are not increasing this project cost. It’s a package, and it’s called lump sum completion package to Julius Berger to do a beautiful job and attach their name. It has been 11 years, and we don’t want it to exceed this year,” he said.

“It is in your interest that you cooperate; I will be asking Julius Berger, is there anything that the Minister of Works and NLNG will do to fast-track this engagement so that we can arrive at the destination by December 15, 2024?” he queried.

Earlier, Umahi had expressed dismay over the attitude of RCC which was handling the 15km East-West Road, stretching Port Harcourt Eleme Junction to Onne Port Junction, for their delay on the project despite receiving mobilization for the job and warned that the government would not entertain any request for Variation on Price( VOP).

“We are very sad with the manners and behaviours of this contractor, RCC. The federal government has paid over 40 billion on this project, and not even one kilometre has been completed. And let me clarify that the cost we have given on the review of this project does not attract any VOP. There is no VOP on the project as far as the rates are concerned now,” the minister said.

He decried the suffering of the road users and expressed the intention to source funds to maintain the road for the time being pending when the company remobilizes to the site.

“So we have to see where we can search for funds and get any contractor around here to maintain the road. We need to maintain the road. We need to pity the people. It’s not acceptable what our people are passing through for an excuse from RCC that they are importing machines for the job.

Other projects inspected by the minister were the dualization of East-West Road section II (sub-section II) (Ahoada-Kaiama in Rivers/Bayelsa States) being handled by Setraco Nigeria Ltd and the construction of multiple box culverts at flood-damaged locations along the dualization of East-West Road (section II) Ahoada-Kaiama in Rivers/Bayelsa States being handled by Messrs. Rock Result Nigeria Ltd.

The locals commended the minister for handling the mandate of the Ministry of Works with an exceptional sense of passion and professionalism. The Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate and Senator representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District, Onyekachi Nwaebonyi said, “I want to use this opportunity to appreciate, once again, the performing Minister of Works who is doing wonderfully well on all our roads across the country.”

The NLNG representative and manager of government Relations, Dienye Godson, also thanked the federal government for the will to complete the project. “I must commend the Minister for all the efforts he has put in. He has spent several weeks and has been very patient. And that has led us to where we are today,” he said.

He said that “as a company, we are happy. So, at this stage now, we’ll go back and go through our internal processes to ensure that we provide as much support as we can to the government.”

In his assurances, on behalf of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the project manager stated, “We will not lean back, and we’ll continue and expedite the re-mobilization of this project to ensure our full commitment. And as you have rightly said, we as partners in progress must have all hands on deck.”