Reps query delay on 2nd Niger-bridge, road projects
The House of Representatives has expressed worries over the pace of work on the second Niger-Bridge and the completion of Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan road projects.
The chairman, House Committee on Works, Abubakar Kabir, disclosed the displeasure of the parliament over the three projects, considered critical to federal government, at an investigative hearing organised by the committee, on Tuesday.
The committee also queried the Bureau for Public Procurement( BPP) for the issuance of no-objection certificate, to the company for the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria Road allegedly “without taking the interest of Nigerians to heart.”
The lawmaker sought justification on why Julius Berger was awarded the contract for the Abuja-Kaduna- Zaria Road, despite not being part of the initial process.
However, the Director-General of BPP Mamman Ahmadu equally expressed dissatisfaction with the progress of work on the Abuja-Kaduna road project.
Ahmadu explained that “The Lagos-Ibadan project, was conceived as public-private partnership, but no performance from the concessioner. It was awarded during Jonathan’s time and because of poor performance, it was rewarded.
The Second Niger bridge likewise started as BPP project but failed to perform and it was converted to a contract financed by government and started by Julius Berger.
“Abuja Kaduna Kano was initiated to Open competitive bidding and was later given out too. It was much later because budgetary provisions were not coming regularly and government took it up to finance”.
The BPP boss added that “there was an evaluation of the three projects and based on quality, Julius Berger was given the contract. Quality is very important, so specification and quality requirement were considered.
“In our review where we thought Julius Berger priced a particular material expensive, we reduced it.
“In fact at a time this project came, Julius Berger said if they were allowed to do the road that they will ensure road maintenance for 30years and minimum maintenance for a few years thereafter ”
“For instance, the National Assembly should also take note, you have three blocks here and the ones built by Julius Berger, see how they are still clean, and the ones built by others are going bad and need maintenance “