Federal Gov’t Approves Final N280bn For Completion Of Bodo-Bonny Road

Federal Gov’t Approves Final N280bn For Completion Of Bodo-Bonny Road

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The Federal Government has approved final payment of N280 billion for the completion of Bodo-Bonny road project.

The Minister of Works, Engr. Dave Umahi disclosed this on Wednesday during an inspection visit to the project site.

Umahi, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji, warned that the contractor handling the project, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, must work round the clock to beat the project delivery timeline of December 2024.

Umahi who also expressed reservation over the Bodo-Bonny project implementation by the contractor, insisted that the amount of money paid must correspond with the project when completed.

He, however, enjoined the contractor to ensure that no further excuses were given on the project delivery timeline as Federal Government would not approve further funds as variation whatsoever.

“And in case the devil comes to play, whatever happens, we are not increasing this project cost. It’s a package, and it’s called lump sum final completion package to Julius Berger to do a beautiful job and attach their name. It has been 11 years, and we don’t want it to exceed this year. And so it is in your interest that you cooperate,” the minister said.

He added, “I will be asking Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, is there anything that the Minister of Works and NLNG will do to fast-track this engagement so that we can arrive at the destination by the 15th of December 2024?”

He commended the perseverance of the Bodo-Bonny Peace Committee and the cooperation and uprightness of NLNG who are funding the project.

The Minister however, threatened the revoke the 15km East West Road (From Port Harcourt Eleme Junction to Onne Port Junction) from RCC for their inordinate delay on the project, despite receiving mobilisation for the job.

He warned that Federal Government would not entertain any request for Variation on Price (VOP).

“We are very sad with the manners and behaviours of this contractor, RCC. The federal government has paid over 40 billion on this project, and not even one kilometer has been completed. And let me make it very clear that the cost we have given on the review of this project does not attract any VOP. There is no VOP on the project as far as the rates are concerned now.”

He decried the sufferings of the road users and expressed intention to source funds to maintain the road pending the time the company would remobilise to the site.

“So we have to see where we can search for funds and get any contractor around here to maintain the road. We need to maintain the road. We need to pity the people. It’s not acceptable what our people are passing through for an excuse from RCC that they are importing machines for the job,” he said.

Other projects inspected by the Minister include the dualization of East-West road section II (sub section II) (Ahoada-Kaiama in Rivers/Bayelsa States) being handled by Setraco Nigeria Ltd and the construction of multiple box culverts at flood damaged locations along the dualization of East-West Road (section II) Ahoada-Kaiama in Rivers/Bayelsa States being handled by Messrs Rock Result Nigeria Ltd.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate and Senator representing Ebonyi North Senatorial District, Peter Nwaebonyi who was part of the inspection, and the spokesperson to the Bodo-Bonny Peace Committee, Professor Jasper Jumbo thanked President Bola Tinubu for the great difference his administration has brought in the Nigeria’s road infrastructure trajectory.

They similarly commended the Minister of Works for handling the mandate of his ministry with passion and professionalism.

Sen. Nwaebonyi said, “I want to use this opportunity to appreciate once again the performing Minister of Works who is doing wonderfully well on all our roads across the nation.

“This is one of them, the Bodo-Bonny Road. And I believe that with this constant supervision, the contractors will live up to expectations and deliver the job within record time.”

On his part, Professor Jumbo said, “I must commend your patriotism. I must commend your professionalism. One thing that this administration has shown us is that we enlisted people of credibility and people of integrity. I commend Mr. President, for bringing such a minister that is committed to giving Nigeria the best. This is the practical aspect of Renewed Hope.”

The representative of NLNG and manager, Government Relations, Dienye Godson also thanked President Tinubu and his team for the will to complete the project.

“I must commend the Honourable Minister for all the efforts he has put in. He has spent several weeks, and obviously has been very patient. And that has led us to where we are today. So, as a company, we are happy. So, at this stage now, we’ll go back and go through our own internal processes to ensure that we provide as much support as we can to the government.”

The project contractor, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, assured through its Project Manager that, “We will not lean back, and we’ll continue and expedite the re-mobilisation of this project to ensure our full commitment. And as you rightly have said, Honourable Minister, we as partners in progress must have all hands on deck.”

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