The Senate Committee on Works has decried the slow pace of work by the contractor handling the reconstruction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Dual Carriageway.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Adamu Aliero made this known on Monday when he led members of the Committee on an oversight to the sites.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the contract was awarded on Dec. 20, 2017 to Julius Berger Plc at a cost of N155.48 billion and has three sections; Zuba-Kaduna, Kaduna-Zaria and Zaria-Kano road.
Aliero expressed worry that the work was done at ‘snail’ speed, saying that Nigerians were worried as the road cut across three geopolitical zones; North-Central, North-West and North -East.
“It is a very important road in terms of the economic gains of the zones; the delay is unacceptable; there is no enough mobilisation on the part of the contractor.
“Several people have complained to us as legislators and true representatives of the people, that is why we are compelled to come and see what is happening,” he said.
While reminding the contractor, Julius Berger Plc that it had 14 months to complete the job, the lawmaker said that the Senate “cannot afford to lose more lives on the road.
” From what I gathered, the ministry has not done its work properly. There is inconsistency in the whole arrangement,” he said.
A member of the Committee, Sen. Kabir Barkiya (APC-Katsina) said that the level of work was not encouraging as the non completion of work had resulted in the death of many.
He questioned if it was the type of funding and the budgetary releases the contractor was getting that had led to the delay in finishing the work.
Also, Deputy Minority Whip, Sen. Sahabi Yau observed that the committee was not doubting the quality of work by Berger but certainly, the duration taken for it to do the job was doubtful.
“Because you have refused to mention in your briefing how much you have collected so far. Is it that you have not been settled and certificates not raised by the ministry of works?
“The journey of two hours is now for five hours because of the interchanged sections,” he decried.
Regional Manager, Julius Berger Plc, Mr Benjamin Bott said that the company was a reputable firm and was working on all three sections of the road to ensure that the project was completed at the specified time.
” Works are progressing. You will be very comfortable with the quality and progress of the work.
”We are having all hands on deck with our controllers and the team from the Federal Ministry of Works,” he said.
Acting Director Federal Highways North Central, Mr Bola Aganaba said that over the years, there was belief that roads built by the ministry and government do not last.
Agunaba attributed the major reason to ”so much abuse of our roads; the haulage of vehicles that ply these roads.”
He explained that when the project started, it was discover that if normal rehabilitation was done, some sections of the road would fail which was why there was a review of the job.
He, however, said that he was optimistic that with the amount awarded for the contract, the project would be concluded by mid 2021 as specified in the terms of agreement.