Con­trac­tors Threaten to Sus­pend Work on Lagos-Ibadan Ex­press­way

107 roads, bridges up for con­struc­tion, re­pairs, Fashola tells leg­is­la­tors

THISDAY - - NEWSXTRA - Chineme Okafor

The two prin­ci­pal con­trac­tors work­ing on the Lagos-Ibadan Ex­press­way, Messrs Julius Berger and Reynolds Con­struc­tion Com­pany (RCC), have is­sued the fed­eral gov­ern­ment no­tice of sus­pen­sion of work due to de­lay in the pay­ment of agreed con­tract fees on work al­ready done, the Min­is­ter of Power, Works and Hous­ing, Mr. Ba­batunde Fashola, has dis­closed.

Fashola said the firms had com­plained of the ad­verse ef­fect of the debts on their pace of work on the high­way, which could in turn lead to them de­fault­ing in meet­ing up with the com­ple­tion dead­line they agreed.

Speak­ing to mem­bers of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives In­ves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee on Breach of Priv­i­lege, Vi­o­la­tion of Ap­pro­pri­a­tion Act, in Abuja, Fashola ex­plained that the let­ters from Julius Berger and RCC on this had been sub­mit­ted to him. The com­mit­tee had queried his ut­ter­ances over the Na­tional Assem­bly re­view of the 2017 bud­get.

He noted in a state­ment from his Se­nior Spe­cial Ad­viser on Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Mr. Ha­keem Bello, yes­ter­day that RCC, which han­dles Sec­tion 11 (Shaga­muIbadan) of the high­way con­tract wrote to him, stat­ing that: “In view of the ir­reg­u­lar pay­ment and the at­ten­dant cash flow prob­lem, we shall be con­strained to sus­pend fur­ther ex­e­cu­tion of work un­less there is an ap­pre­cia­ble im­prove­ment in the project’s cash flow and ad­e­quate fund­ing ar­range­ment is put in place for fur­ther works.”

Fashola, in­di­cated that RCC’s let­ter to him was dated June 2, 2017, and signed by its Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Mr. M. Nakhla.

Sim­i­larly, the min­is­ter said he re­ceived Julius Berger’s let­ter on June 5, 2017, in­di­cat­ing that it would stop work on Sec­tion 1 (Lagos-Shagamu Dual Car­riage­way) of the high­way.

Julius Berger, he said, wrote in the let­ter which was signed by the Di­vi­sion Man­ager, Mr. W. Loesser and the Commercial Di­vi­sion Man­ager, Mr. T. Meletschus: “Min­is­ter, it has be­come ev­i­dent that the re­quired ad­e­quate fund­ing for the con­tin­u­a­tion of the project is not avail­able. We trust that you will un­der­stand that there­fore and as a con­se­quence of the un­ac­cept­able fi­nan­cial risk to Julius Berger Nige­ria Plc, we are left with no choice than to im­me­di­ately com­mence sus­pen­sion of the works on the project, as ear­lier no­ti­fied.”

But while Julius Berger and RCC are still be­ing owed for road works they have done, Fashola how­ever dis­closed that the gov­ern­ment would un­der­take to build and re­pair about 107 roads and bridges across the coun­try in the 2017 bud­get.

He said the gov­ern­ment has plans to un­der­take con­struc­tion of 44 fed­eral high­ways in the bud­get, as well as 63 roads across the coun­try it said needed emer­gency in­ter­ven­tions ahead of the rainy sea­son.

Fashola, stated that the 63 roads were iden­ti­fied and pre­pared for in­ter­ven­tion dur­ing his in­spec­tion tour of roads in 34 states of the fed­er­a­tion ear­lier in the year.

Ac­cord­ing to him, for the pur­pose of ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion, the gov­ern­ment has clas­si­fied the roads into crit­i­cal eco­nomic routes and agri­cul­tural routes, adding that they ei­ther ad­vance trade and com­merce across the states or lead to the ports and agri­cul­tural ar­eas across the coun­try.

The roads which he said are spread out across the dif­fer­ent geopo­lit­i­cal zones of the coun­try in­clude KanoKatsina Road (Phase 1: Kano Town at Dawanau Round­about to Katsina State Bor­der); Sokoto-Tam­buwal-Jega-Yauri Road; Ilorin-Jebba-Mok­waBokani Road; Ilorin-Kab­baOba­jana Road (Sec­tions 1 and 11); Ibadan-Ilorin Road; Sec­tion11 (Oyo-Og­bo­mosho); Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan Dual Car­riage­way; and Sec­tions 1 and11 and Lagos-Otta Road.

Also in­cluded are Apapa/ Tin­can Port, NNPC De­pot (At­las Cove) to Mile 2 Ac­cessd Road; Apapa-Oshodi Road; Third Main­land Bridge; Apapa/ Tin­can Is­land Port-NNPC De­pot Ac­cess Road; Benin-Ofosu-Ore Aje­ban­dele-Shagamu Road; Oba­jana Junc­tion-Benin Road Phase 2: (Sec­tions i-iv); SapeleEwu Road Sec­tions 1&11; Sec­ond Niger Bridge; Onit­sha-Enugu Ex­press­way (Amansea-Enugu State Bor­der); Yene­goa Road Junc­tion-Kolo-Otueke-Bayelsa Palm; and Bodo-Bonny Road with Bridge.

The min­is­ter stated that others roads and bridges in the mix are Oduk­pani-Itu-(Spur Ididep-Itam)-Ikot Ekpene Fed­eral High­way Sec­tions 1 and 11; Ikom Bridge; Enugu-Port Har­court Dual Car­riage­way Sec­tions I to IV; Cal­abar-Ugep-Katsina Ala Road; Van­deikya-Obudu-Obudu Cat­tle Ranch Road; Osheg­buduOweto Road; Oju/Loko-Oweto Bridge with ap­proach roads; Nas­sarawa-Loko Road; Abuja-Lokoja Road Sec­tions I and IV; Suleja-Minna Road Sec­tion 11; Kaduna Eastern By­pass; Kano-Maiduguri Road Sec­tion 1-1V; Hade­jia-Ngu­ruGashua-Baya­mari Road; and Kano West­ern By­pass.

Fashola said some of the 63 roads and bridges slated for emer­gency in­ter­ven­tions in­clude con­struc­tion of a bridge at KM 32 along Bil­liri Filiya in Taraba and the re­pair of Bil­liri-Fil­liya Road in Gombe; Po­tiskum-Agalda-Gombe State Bor­der (S/B) and Po­tiskumKari-Bauchi S/B Road in Yobe State.

The Tella Road and Bridge 2 Abut­ment and ApawaJunc­tion-Zing-Adamawa (State Bor­der) in Taraba State; BauchDarazo-Kari Road in Bauchi State; Nu­man-Lafia-Gombe State Bor­der Road; Nu­manJalingo Road; Nu­man-Guyuk (Borno State Bor­der) and Ngurore-May­obelwa Road in Adamawa State, are also in the mix, just like the Ibil­loIsu-Epinmi-Akungba Road and Owo-Akure Road in Ondo; Ilesa-Ijebu-Ijesa Road; Ije­buI­jesa-Ek­iti S/B and Ibadan-IleIfe-Ilesa Road; Osun S/B-Ilesa in Osun; Ibadan-Ile-Ife-Ilesa Road in Oyo; Ijebu-Ode-Epe-Ibadan Road in Ogun and Iko­rodu-Shagamu in Lagos; Abaka­liki-Ofer­ekpe Road in Ebonyi; Nsukka-AdaniA­nam­bra S/B Road in Enugu State; Umuok­por sec­tion of Ikot Ekpene-Aba Road in Abia and Ihiala-Orlu-Umuduru Road; Ow­erri-Okigwe, among others.

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