Benin-Lokoja Road: FG Threatens to Sack Contractors

Dave Umahi

The federal government has warned the contractors handling the Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi- Okpella-Okene-Lokoja road to immediately commence accelerated work on the rehabilitation of the road or risk termination of their contracts and be blacklisted.

The minister of works, David Umahi during his inspection visit to the project sites in Edo state on Saturday, March 9, said the warning became imperative because the federal government under the Renewed Hope administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had released funds to the contractors handling the federal projects.

According to a statement by his special adviser on media, Uchenna Orji, on Sunday, the minister cautioned that contractors who do not fully mobilize and promptly initiate accelerated rehabilitation work on the projects will face contract termination and potential blacklisting.

The statement reads: “Speaking after a meeting with the Governor of Edo State, Goodwin Obaseki, and the Minister described as unacceptable the delay of the contractors in fully mobilizing the 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, which disrupted vehicular movements, the Minister said that his meeting with the Governor was to brainstorm on the drastic measures to tackle 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.”

“On his part, the Governor thanked the Minister for his deep sense of commitment to the development of road infrastructure in Nigeria.

“He assured of the unwavering support of his administration to the concrete technology initiative introduced by the Renewed Hope administration, which he said was the best model for the road infrastructure along the East-West and indeed parts of the country.

“First, let me thank my brother and very good friend, the Honourable Minister of Works, who you know is an engineer par excellence, for the concern he has shown. Same time last year when I cried for help ahead of the rainy reason, we didn’t get this kind of response.”

“He harped on the need to remove encumbrances to the construction of enduring road infrastructure in Nigeria. We shall not continue to use expensive asphalt to do our roads. We should use sustainable local materials; we produce cement and steel, there is no reason why we cannot begin to move towards utilizing more concrete in building our roads for sustainability so that our roads can last longer.”

“The Hon. Minister who also inspected the Lokoja – Benin Road Dualization Projects, section IV: Benin – Ehor road in Edo State handled by RCC Nig. Ltd; the section III: Ehor – Auchi in Edo State handled by Dantata & Sawoe Nig. Ltd; and the section II: Auchi – Okene in Edo/Kogi States handled by Mothercat Nig. Ltd tasked them with the best standard and timely delivery of the projects.

“He further moved to the spot where the residents were blocking vehicular movements and addressed them on the efforts of Mr. President 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 addressing the situation here, you will see action from Monday” he said.


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