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Thursday, July 25, 2024

FG REVIEWS TO N280B, COST OF BODO-BONNY ROAD PROJECT 

The multi-billion naira Bodo-Bonny link road is ongoing in Rivers State.

N199 billion was the initial cost of the project but the Federal Government has reviewed it upwards to N280 billion.

Federal Minister of Works, David Umahi visited the project site and other ongoing projects in Rivers State on Wednesday.

Umahi spoke to newsmen and explained that the Federal Ministry of Works is harmonising contracts based on priority and the availability of funds to see such projects to completion.

He said the the Federal Government has set December 15, 2024, as the target date for the completion and commissioning of the project.

“Shortly a while ago we arrived at the zenith zero of the famous Bodo-Bonny road being handled by Julius Berger. We have had some running battles with Berger.

“For Berger, they needed to complete the road and for the Ministry of Works, the road must not be completed at all costs.

“The job must be completed within the limited resources available to the Federal Government.

“However, we have caved into the demands of Berger and I’m also happy that Berger caved in, in the other locations where we have differences like the Abuja/Kano road, second Niger Bridge, Lagos/Ibadan, Odukpani in Cross River, that’s give and take.

“So we are not unhappy about agreeing to the cost that Berger posed to us so we have accepted the cost, so the project has been reviewed to a final figure of N280 Billion and that is the completion cost. “

Commenting on the Akpajo/Eleme section of the East-West Road, Umahi frowned that the contractor, Reynolds Construction Company, has abandoned the project site.

“We are on the East-West Road, presently the contractor is not working and we are very sad with the manner and behaviour of this contractor, RCC.

“We have been having a running battle starting from quality of work to delays and all manner of tricks including engaging the communities for politics so that you perpetually keep them.

“The entire road is in a terrible mess. And the contractor must be warned because when the restiveness of the people of this area will start, he (contractor) will not be able to carry it.”

On the ongoing work on the Mbiama section of the East-West Road, the minister assured that the height of the road will be raised by one metre to make it totally be out of the flood plain.

“The only way we can achieve success in our road projects is proper monitoring and that is the Hallmark of what we will embark on at the Ministry of Works.

“When you don’t push contractors they may tend to slack except very few of them.

“So we are harmonising contracts so that we will continue with only contracts that we are sure that we have enough money to execute and we are going to prioritize projects.

“We inherited over 2,600 projects and we don’t have all the money to continue all of them.”

“So we are going to prioritise them based on fairness and equity across the zones and of course across the states, even as he commended President Tinubu, the contractors and staff for their commitment to ensuring completion of the various ongoing road projects across the zones.”

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