Disclosure News

Factual Reportage

*** Gives reasons

The Federal Government has terminated the 18-year contract for the N121 billion Abuja-Lokoja-Benin Expressway and offered the original contractors the right of first refusal to sign a new contract. The contractors have until tomorrow to accept the new terms or leave the project.

Minister of Works, Engineer Dave Umahi, announced the decision during a meeting with the contractors in Abuja. He explained that the initial project cost of N121 billion had ballooned to N877 billion, prompting a review.

Umahi personally inspected the road and concluded that some sections were unsuitable for asphalt. He ordered that the new lanes be constructed with concrete, a decision approved by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The minister expressed frustration with contractors who hold multiple contracts without the necessary skills, equipment, or personnel to execute them effectively. He announced an audit of all ongoing projects to assess resources and personnel.

“Enough of playing with the psyche of the people,” Umahi declared. “Let us know the equipment on site, the skills, and personnel. No contractor will tell us that it is looking for approval from their head office. They are registered in Nigeria.”

He criticised the arrogance of contractors in Nigeria, particularly those holding multiple contracts without the capacity to deliver.

“The arrogance of contractors in this country is very insulting,” Umahi stated. “In the Ministry of Works, most of the contractors have 17 contracts and they have no equipment to execute them.”

The minister acknowledged the public’s concern over the Abuja-Lokoja-Benin Expressway project, which has been delayed for years. He warned contractors unwilling to discuss the project publicly to leave the site.

Due to the project’s complexity, the government designated it a “Special Project” and approved tax credit for its completion.

The dualisation of the Abuja-Lokoja-Benin Expressway was awarded 18 years ago by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Despite multiple completion deadlines set by subsequent administrations, the project remains unfinished.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *