Karshi-Apo road: FCTA may change contractor

Daily Trust - - ASO CHRONICLE - By Terkula Igidi, Taiwo Adeniyi, Eseohe Eb­hota, Richard P. Ng­bokai

There are strong in­di­ca­tions that the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FCTA) may con­sider an­other contractor to han­dle the Apo-Karshi Road which has been on­go­ing since 2011, Aso Chron­i­cle has gath­ered.

The Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the FCT Min­is­ter on Me­dia and Pub­lic­ity, Abubakar Sani, hinted that the FCTA may re­voke the road con­tract if more de­lays in com­plet­ing the project were en­coun­tered.

Res­i­dents who ex­pect the com­ple­tion of the road soon so that it can ease the Nyanya-Mararaba traf­fic jam, ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment over the slow pace of work.

Some Karshi res­i­dents who spoke with our re­porters ex­pressed dis­sat­is­fac­tion over the way the road project was be­ing han­dled, say­ing it is tak­ing longer than ex­pected even as they said their hope of reach­ing the city cen­tre faster wanes.

Due to on­go­ing con­struc­tion work, mo­tor­cy­clists charge N500 to take pas­sen­gers from Karshi to Apo while res­i­dents com­ing from Apo pay more be­cause most mo­tor­cy­clists dread the road.

They said the FCT min­is­ter’s visit to the road late last year, where he said it was a shame that indige­nous con­trac­tors were not work­ing to ex­pec­ta­tion, has failed to spur the con­trac­tors to work.

Res­i­dents said the con­struc­tion com­pany re­sumed the work on the road about five months ago af­ter a long break but that work was slow and noth­ing mean­ing­ful has been achieved since.

Malam Umaru Bako, one of the res­i­dents, said that though the work has been on­go­ing for the past five months, there is no sig­nif­i­cant progress, say­ing the work­ers come to work in­con­sis­tently.

“The road project is more than the com­pany can han­dle,” he said.

He said that the only ma­jor work the com­pany has done since the be­gin­ning of the con­tract was the cul­vert built at Kuphayi few kilo­me­tres from Karshi town but when our re­porters went there, the cul­vert was yet to be cov­ered.

Sa­heed Yunusa, an­other res­i­dent, said al­though con­struc­tion work is on­go­ing on the road, the gov­ern­ment should en­sure that what­ever is de­lay­ing the project is ad­dressed.

He said due to the un­com­pleted project, only Sport Util­ity Ve­hi­cles or trucks can ply

the road, “And look at most peo­ple here, how many of us have such ve­hi­cles?”

Abel An­drew re­sides in Orozo but works in Garki. He said if the road is com­pleted, about two hours would have been saved from his time, adding that lit­tle money from his mea­ger salary as an of­fice as­sis­tant would be spent on trans­port fare.

An­drew said he goes to work daily from Jik­woyi to Nyanya from where he takes a ve­hi­cle to Area 1. The journey takes two hours or more es­pe­cially dur­ing heavy down­pour or short­age of ve­hi­cles.

“That stress would be greatly re­duced be­cause it is a few kilo­me­tres from here to Karshi and from Apo, I can eas­ily get to Area 1,” he said, while long­ing for the road to be com­pleted.

There are thou­sands of peo­ple like An­drew who re­side in Karshi, Orozo, Gi­dan Man­goro, Ku­rudu, Wasa, Kyami, Takushara, and other com­mu­ni­ties, who would be di­rect ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the road project.

Speak­ing fur­ther about the road project, Waziri N. Umar, an­other res­i­dent was pes­simistic about the project say­ing, “They are do­ing noth­ing, and the work is be­yond them. They can­not han­dle the work the way it is sup­posed to be done be­cause if the com­pany was se­ri­ous with the work, it would have com­pleted it by now.’’

Waziri, who called on the gov­ern­ment to mon­i­tor the ac­tiv­i­ties of the com­pany to en­sure proper ser­vice de­liv­ery, raised con­cern about the qual­ity of the por­tions of the road which have al­ready been tar­ma­cked.

He said most res­i­dents have lost con­fi­dence in the com­pany han­dling the project.

“The gov­ern­ment has tried, but the com­pany is not try­ing at all. What they have done since Fe­bru­ary till date is not up to three kilo­me­tres be­cause they have not been con­sis­tent on site,” he said.

The SA Me­dia to the FCT Min­is­ter ap­pealed to res­i­dents to be pa­tient with the ad­min­is­tra­tion, adding though the project was in­her­ited; the FCT min­is­ter is de­ter­mined to com­plete it.

Aso Chron­i­cle gath­ered that the min­is­ter had ear­lier on an in­spec­tion visit to the site, re­it­er­ated the com­mit­ment of FCT Ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der his stew­ard­ship to com­plete the on­go­ing and aban­doned projects, es­pe­cially those in satel­lite towns, Karshi-Apo road project in­clu­sive.

Ac­cord­ing to our find­ings, Karshi-Apo road con­tract was awarded to Kakatar by FCDA at the sum of N6, 355, 609, 124.53, on Jan­uary 19, 2011, but ac­tual work com­menced on March 23, 2011.

Fur­ther find­ings re­vealed that Kakatar has re­ceived N2,373, 619,680.99; re­main­ing a bal­ance of about N3. 9bil­lion.

Sani said the road could be com­pleted by De­cem­ber as a pro­vi­sion of N1.5bn has been made in the 2016 bud­get for the road. The sum he said would fa­cil­i­tate its com­ple­tion un­like a pal­try sum of N200m al­lo­cated for the road in 2015.

“If we don’t start us­ing it by De­cem­ber, by first quar­ter of 2017 peo­ple should start us­ing the road,” he said, adding that the gov­ern­ment is not tied to the contractor.

He said should the contractor fail to de­liver, gov­ern­ment may con­sider an al­ter­na­tive.

“If at the ap­pro­pri­ate time it is ob­served that he is not mov­ing at the pace that the ad­min­is­tra­tion de­sires, then the ad­min­is­tra­tion will take the ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures,” he said.

He said the gov­ern­ment would not be held back by the short­com­ings of any contractor since the gov­ern­ment is at lib­erty to ei­ther re­tain the contractor or look for an al­ter­na­tive.

He said the de­lay could be due to a 50 me­tres high hill that has to be brought down and some engi­neer­ing de­sign in Karshi han­dled by an­other con­struc­tion com­pany.

“A sub­stan­tial part of the road has al­ready been com­pleted. What is hap­pen­ing is that there is about 200 me­tres not com­pleted be­cause there is a hill of about 50me­tres high which has to be chopped off oth­er­wise ve­hi­cles won’t be able to use the road,” he said.

“This other is­sue has noth­ing to do with the FCT Ad­min­is­tra­tion, it is his per­sonal and com­pany’s is­sue and we be­lieve he will be able to sort it out,” Sani said.

When our re­porters went to The Clan Place, Plot 1386, Ti­gris Cres­cent, Maitama, Abuja, of­fice of Kakatar Con­struc­tion and Engi­neer­ing Lim­ited to get the com­pany’s re­ac­tion, they were told the per­son who’s au­tho­rised to speak to them was not avail­able.

Photo Taiwo Adeniyi

A por­tion of the Karshi-Apo road, on which con­struc­tion started since 2011.

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