In furtherance of its commitment to improve the nation’s transportation infrastructure, restore its road network as a means to create employment and boost the economy, while responding to the aftermath of the recent flooding in the Niger Delta, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N260.5B as variation order for repair works and completion of various Sections of the East – West Road projects.
The approval was sequel to a memorandum by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN to the Council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo SAN.
The revelation is contained in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to Fashola on Communications, Hakeem Bello.
The memorandum document dated October 27, 2022, covers the request of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for inclusion of additional works and review of unit rate for the outstanding works required to complete the East – West road projects which the President directed that the Ministry of Works and Housing be engaged to revalidate the proposal.
Following the Presidential directive, the Ministry of Works and Housing constituted a Task Allocation Committee (TAC) comprising its officers and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA) which conducted a site inspection on Sections I – IV of the East – West Road projects from 14 – 16 October, 2022 to assess the need for the augmentation and additional works to complete the projects.
It would be recalled that 13 years after it was taken away from the Ministry of Works and Housing, President Muhammadu Buhari had in May directed the MNDA then under Senator Godswill Akpabio, which had been handling its construction to return the challenging East-West Road to the Works and Housing Ministry.
According to the memorandum, the contracts for the dualization of East – West Road projects Sections I – IV from Warri – Port Harcourt – Eket-Oron (338) were awarded at different dates and are at different levels of completion.
However, the Sections covered in the Federal Executive Council’s approval included Section III: Port Harcourt (Eleme Junction ) – Onne Port Junction in Rivers State in the sum of N156.7B being handled by Messrs RCC Nigeria Limited and Section II: Subsection I (Port Harcourt – Ahoada) in Rivers State in the sum of N64.3B being done Messrs Setraco Nigeria Limited as well as Section II: Subsection II (Ahoada – Kaiama) in Bayelsa and Rivers States in the sum of N144.7B being handled by the same construction company.
Others are Section IV : Eket – Oron Road in Akwa Ibom State in the sum of N64.3B being handled by Messrs Gitto Nigeria Limited and Section IV : Eket – Oron Bypass in Akwa Ibom State in the sum of N76.8B being handled by the same construction company.With the approved variation order, the contract sum for the East – West Road project Sections I – IV has changed from N246 billion to N506 billion.
The memorandum showed the scope of work necessitating the requests for augmentation in the various sections to include outstanding works, asphalting of inner and outer shoulders, repair of settlement on carriageways, construction of additional drainage and culvert works, construction of flyover and repair of distressed bridges among others.
While presenting the memorandum which was in line with the Federal Government’s continued engagement in bringing succour and resolving issues around the recent flooding, Fashola explained that the approval would enable the contractors to carry out repair works with respect to Sections of the East – West Road in the Niger Delta affected during the recent flooding in parts of the country.
The table showing changes in basic item rates in each of the Projects were clearly itemized, while Fashola also gave extensive details of the procurement processes which the participating Companies went through that culminated in the certification and issuance of a Due Process Certificate of “No Objection” for each of the Projects by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
According to the Minister, due diligence and post qualification checks were also carried out which showed that the companies have the capabilities to execute the contracts and are fully compliant with the Nigerian Local Content Policy.