The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to completing the N300 billion East-West dual carriageway projects by December 2014.
Giving the assurance while featuring on “Issues in the Niger Delta”, a TV programme on African Independent Television, AIT, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, said the project had attained significant progress in terms of construction.
While recounting the issues that led to the award of the contract for the East-West Road, Orubebe said the road was awarded in 2006 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. “Technically,” he said, “the design of a road of this magnitude should have taken about one-year, but was hurriedly done within two weeks.”
“When the contract was awarded in 2006, only a paltry sum of N1.2 billion was paid as mobilization fee to the contractors, and in 2009, when the project was handed over to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs by the Federal Ministry of Works, only 10 per cent of work had been done.
“In 2010 I sat down with my team and we did a feasibility study and re-designed the road and now you can see significant progress in terms of construction.”
He said that the Ministry, inheriting the inadequacies of the defunct contract at transfer and using the unspent funds left in the defunct Section II contract as contract ceiling, re-awarded Section II, with the scope of works unchanged to Messrs. Setraco Nig. Ltd. in April/May 2009 in two sub sections, namely: Section II Sub Section I: Port Harcourt – Ahoada (47km) at a contract sum of N29.92 billion with a completion period of 48 months and Section II Sub Section II: Ahoada – Kaiama (54Km) at a Contract sum of N44.883 billion with a completion period of 36 months. [VN]