FG To Relieve The Suffering Of Nigerians, With Good Roads

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Minister of Works, Engr David Umahi has given the contractors handling the federal government’s 260 emergency projects a deadline of three months to deliver as required by the Standard Conditions of Contract or face termination.

The ultimatum was issued during a meeting of the management of the Federal Ministry of Works with the contractors handling the various projects and the Federal Controllers of Works held at the Ministry’s headquarters on Monday.

The Renewed Hope emergency road projects were appropriated in the 2023 Supplementary Budget with the intention to bring immediate intervention on the completely failed parts of critical federal roads nationwide.

The Minister listed about 37 contractors who have achieved little or no milestone in the project delivery since the contracts were awarded and warned that such contractors must mobilize effectively to the site latest Wednesday 10th July, 2024, or face contract termination.

This is contained in a statement issued on Monday by the Minister’s Special Adviser on media, Mr Uchenna Orji.

He said, “if after the deadline for mobilization to the site, any contractor fails to comply, the job shall be terminated by effluxion of time as the contract is for a time limit of 3 months.

“Any contractor whose job has stayed for more than 3 months without completion after the issuance of an award letter must seek and obtain approval for extension of time from the Federal Ministry of Works.

“The defaulting contractors, most of whom are handling emergency road projects in Yobe, Jigawa, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Abia, Anambra, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, and River States were warned that the projects awarded to them must be delivered in three months time as no excuse of security challenges or lack of mobilization funds would justify the sufferings they are subjecting road users or shield them from being blacklisted as constituting a clog in the wheel of progress.

“The people are suffering, the President is having sleepless nights in his efforts to fix our road infrastructure to help our economy, and people will be given jobs and they are telling us stories.

“There have been jobs awarded by this ministry in the past and money paid, and the contractors would hold the money, and they would say it’s a security problem.

“Didn’t you know about the security situation before you got the job?”

He gave a marching order to the Federal Controllers of Works to ensure proper supervision of projects in their states and be abreast with the contract awarded, amount, date of award, timeline, review date, extension of time, argumentation granted and whether the contractor is on site.

Umahi reiterated that mobilization funding under the Standard Conditions of Contract was not a condition precedent for them to move to the site but it is at the discretion of the Federal Ministry of Works and can be made available only to contractors who can undertake through affidavit of commitment to complete the job within three months of mobilization.

He stated, “Our new policy is that if you want mobilization and we are happy to give you, you will abide by the conditions. One is that there will be no review of any component of the mobilization given.

“Two, we will give you 30% and you will do 30% of work before we can give you another money.

“So please, mobilization is not compulsory. Is that clear? Again, emergency projects are not mobilized. The rule is that in emergency projects, you will go and do it 100%, and then you submit your papers.

“We now pay you 80% and send your documents to BPP. When they approve, we pay you the balance of 20%.”

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Yakubu Adam Kofarmata, stated that the period had gone when contractors were taking the country for granted and could afford to delay in job delivery for years after collecting mobilization and would keep feeding on the VOP.

He charged contractors to brace up to the new spirit of “Nigeria first,” introduced in the Federal Ministry of Works under the Renewed Hope administration of President Bola Tinubu.

“Honestly, we have a stake. It is about the Nigerian nation. We don’t have any other country other than Nigeria.

“Believe me, we are pushing the Honorable Minister right now to stop considering this VOP and augmentation, because, there is no reason, after being given an award letter, you come and say you are waiting for payment for six months.

“Please, let us consider the nation first. Once we put Nigeria first, you see that things will move.”

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