April 17, 2024

Gov. Obaseki Hails President Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’, as FG Orders Crackdown on Contractors

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Obaseki hails Tinubu's 'Renewed Hope Agenda'

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By Correspondent

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has given marching order to contractors handling the Benin- Ekpoma- Auchi- Okpella- Okene-Lokoja road to immediately commence accelerated work on the rehabilitation of the road or face termination of their contracts.

President Tinubu who spoke through the Minister of Works, Mr. David Umahi also asked the contractors to justify funds released to them or risk termination of their contracts.

The warning was handed down during the minister’s inspection visit to the various project sites in Edo State on 9th March 2024.

The Hon. Minister who disclosed that the Federal Government under the Renewed Hope administration of Tinubu had released funds to the contractors handling the federal projects, warned that contractors who fail to fully mobilize and commence immediate accelerated rehabilitation works on the projects would have their contracts terminated and such contractors blacklisted.

The first point visited by the minister was the Benin-Ologbo-Warri road which was awarded by Tinibu’s administration. He threatened to terminate the multi-billion Naira Benin-Warri Road reconstruction project if the contractor, Levant Construction Company, fails to comply strictly to the scope and specification of the work.

Minister of Works, Umahi, questioning engineers of Levant Construction Company in Ologbe, Edo State, over the poor execution of road contracts.

He expressed dissatisfaction on the work and subsequently ordered the ministry’s supervising engineers to issue a warning letter to the contractors on Monday and after 14 days should the contractor fails to do the right thing, he will personally terminate the job.

The former governor of Ebony State, after inspecting the Benin–Ologbo axis of the Road, lamented that contractors in the country were playing politics with Nigerians and warned that he would not tolerate such under his watch.

He ordered the Federal Ministry of Works staff to issue Levant Construction Company a notice.

A scene from Benin-Auchi road, Edo State

“By Monday, give them a warning letter to start permanent work and if by Monday they don’t start, give 14-day notice of termination. We paid multi-billion for this job and we have seen that a lot of contractors in this country are just playing politics with us and we have emphasised on this severally.

“We will pay mobilisation fee to a contractor, we will never pay variation on price (VOP) for that amount we have paid and that is the problem with Levant and after 14 days of notice of termination, I will come and terminate the job myself.

Ongoing reconstruction of Benin-Sapele road by the federal government

“You cannot do this kind of job in your country, it can only happen in Africa. You can’t collect our money and be misbehaving like this. It is a big shame, look at how people are suffering everywhere and we should be happy clapping for you? I have had more than 10 meetings with them on this job. If anything goes wrong, they will be calling the President,” a visibly disturbed minister said.

Speaking after a meeting with the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Goodwin Obaseki, the minister described as unacceptable the delay of the contractors in fully mobilizing to site and effectively commencing rehabilitation work despite Mr. President’s prompt release of funds to them for the projects.

On the recent protest along the Jattu axis of the Benin-Auchi highway by the residents of the area, that disrupted traffic, the minister said that he meeting with governor Obaseki worked out some measures to remedy the issues affecting the progress of work in the area.

“I have had a very serious meeting with the governor here. We are concerned about what is happening between Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi- Okpella and the axis of Kogi State. That is what we have been brainstorming on.

“I have worked with him throughout last night to direct that the road should be unblocked, and if you see the grievances of those people you will not blame them so much, because people are dying, trucks are falling.”

Obaseki later thanked the minister of works for his deep sense of commitment to the development of road infrastructure in Nigeria, and also praised President Bola Ahmed Tinibu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

The outgoing governor hailed Tinubu for introducing cost saving and lasting technology in the construction of Federal roads in Wdo State.

“We should use sustainable local materials; we produce cement and steel, there is no reason why we can not begin to move towards utilizing more concrete in building our roads for sustainability so that our roads can last longer,” Obaseki who had hitherto openly condemned the All Progressives Congress, APC federal government said.

The minister also inspected the Lokoja–Benin Road Dualization Projects, section IV: Benin–Ehor road in Edo State handled by RCC Nigeria Limited; the section III: Ehor–Auchi in Edo State handled by Dantata and Sawoe Nigeria Limited; and the section II: Auchi–Okene in Edo-Kogi States handled by Mothercat Nigeria Limited. He tasked them to ensure the best standard and timely delivery of all the projects.

He also visited Jattu, the spot where the residents were blocking vehicular movements and addressed them on the efforts of being made by President Tinibu in improving the condition of roads in the State.

“Mr. President has directed me to go round the entire 36 States and brief him on the state of the roads. No contractor is being owed a kobo from Warri down to Kogi State. We are readdressing the situation here, you will see action from Monday.” Minister David Umahi explained to the angry men and women in Jattu, Edo State.

Read Also: Governor Obaseki’s Scorecards: The Countdown to 2024

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