July 15, 2024

Damaged Calabar-Itu highway: Umahi reads riot act to erring construction firms

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Damaged Calabar-Itu highway: Umahi reads riot act to erring construction firms

The Minister of Works Engr David Umahi has said that any contractor whose contract gets terminated shall no longer be awarded a new contract in Nigeria.

This is just as the Minister ordered the construction giant, Julius Berger, and China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) to return to the site at the Calabar-Itu highway within one week or risk termination of their contracts.

He disclosed this during an inspection visit to the damage Calabar-Itu highway.

Umahi expressed disappointment that the contractors have been giving excuses of non-payment of compensation as reasons for not mobilising to the site while noting that the Akwa Ibom State government had already settled the compensation issues as it concerns Calabar-Itu road.

“This road (Calabar-Itu highway) will be terminated from Julius Berger and other firms if they fail to return to the site within 14, their contracts will be terminated.

“There is no pregnant woman that passes this road and still remain the same.

“Henceforth, anybody that stays on the way to progress of the road of this nation no matter who he is will go home and that is the only way out because if we ministry of works put down our feet, we our feet, we would not pass through what we are passing through currently.

“We are very displeased with the section of CCECC and Julius Berger on this Akwa Ibom to Cross River Road.

“If you talk to them they will say it is because of compensation, and the governor of Akwa-Ibom State, had settled compensation issues and so we are giving them a marching order to CCECC to mobilise at least three sections of that road.

“Mr President has given enough money to fund the projects. The same thing to Julius Berger, by the end of this coming week, if Julius Berger fails to remobilise to the site and the ECECC fails to mobilise to at least three sections of the road, the jobs will be terminated.

“We are pampering the contractors, and it has to stop. We have terminated Lokoja-Benin highway contract from Mothercat construction firm, and they cannot get any new contract again as long as I remain the Minister unless Mr. President direct otherwise.

“If RCC construction company fails to return to site on Oyo-Ogbomoso and East-West Road by the end of next week, they will become history of those projects.

‘Enough of these manipulations where people will come and take out money from this country and ship it outside and start hiding with excuse of price variations and all other petty excuses,” he added.

Umahi further promised to encourage indigenous contractors, adding that the quality of their jobs was superior to their foreign counterparts.

Earlier on, the Minister during a Stakeholders’ Engagement on Alignment of 3b and 4 of the Lagos Calabar Coastal Highway held at Ibom Hall in  Uyo, hinted that President Bola Tinubu will flag off the construction of the Cross River and Akwa Ibom section of the Lagos Calabar Coastal Highway in August, this year.

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