Senate urges Fashola to ensure completion of projects


The Senate Committee on Works yesterday expressed dismay
over the refusal of some 11 road contractors to commence work ‎after
collecting a total of N4 billion mobilisation fees.

It therefore, charged the Works, Housing and Power Minister,
Babatunde Raji Fashola, to ‎immediately take steps to ensure that those
contractors move to sites to ensure completion of those projects.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya said a situation
whereby contractors collected money and failed to do the work should not
be allowed to occur “in this regime of change” in the way we previously
do things in the country.

Gaya told the ministry to supply the committee with details of the contracts awarded in 2015 and their status at a later date.

Eleven (11) contractors have collected mobilization fees and
there is zero implementation, some collected N500 million and one of
the contractors collected N1 billion.

“For instance, in the case of dualisation of Otukpo township road, N1
billion was paid to the contractors. Mr. Minister, you need to check
that and give us details in the next meeting. There is no point giving a
contractor mobilization fee when he doesn’t want to perform,” he said.

Speaking on the ministry’s 2016 budget proposal, the committee
pointed out some roads in the country that were given zero allocation.

The Senate committee boss urged the minister to consider some of the
roads in view of their link to major cities in the country; however,
assuring that the committee would work on the budget proposal to ensure
that funds were adequately allocated.

Responding, Fashola explained that not all the contractors who were mobilized had zero performance.

“It is important to take the assessment that the committee has made
on mobilization into context. In my document, contract performance is
not zero. My understanding here is that going by the entire contract sum
of N9.9 billion, by law, the contractors should get at least 15 percent
to move to site.”

Speaking on the 2016 budget proposal, Fashola said the sum of N10 billion was budgeted for work on the Abuja-Lokoja road.

He also said the sum of N16 billion was voted for Kano-Maiduguri
road, while the rehabilitation of Apapa-Oshodi road would gulp N5
billion among others.

According to Fashola, in a bid to do achieve result, the ministry has
come up with a plan to implement road projects based on needs.

“The purpose of the plan is to first address economic routes so that a
section can at least be completed. For 16 years we have not finished
the Lagos-Ibadan road, so we want to work in one place at a time.

“The second Niger Bridge is another project that is of priority because of its importance.


Sisters of the Ogoja Catholic Archdiocese were killed while two were
taken unconscious when the car they were travelling had a head-on
collision with a truck along the Ogoja – Ikom highway on Wednesday. The
sisters according to a source at the Ogoja Catholic Archdiocese were
travelling to Uyo in Akwa Ibom State for a church programme in
preparation for the 2016 Easter when they met their tragic death at
Alok, some few kilometres away from the Mbok Junction, in Ogoja local
government area.

The Toyota Avensus car in which they were travelling was said to be
overtaking a truck on a bend when it suddenly came upon the delivery
truck of a bottling company and crashed onto it head on. ‘The driver of
the car was on top speed and was trying to overtake another truck but
this cocacola truck was going from Ikom to Ogoja and the car ran into
it head on”. A source at the scene said

Our source said four of the sisters died on the spot while two were
unconscious and both the dead and unconscious were taken to the Holy
Family Joint Hospital at Ikom located some sixty kilometres away from
the accident spot. When Vanguard visited the scene of the accident on
Thursday morning, the mangled body of the Toyota Avensus was on side of
the road while the truck was on the other side with tell tale sign of
the tragedy still visible all around the place.

Bishop John Aya, the Catholic Arch Bishop of Ogoja Diocese could not
reached on phone but a source, Rev Father Bekong Simon said the loss of
the sisters was incalculable and “We are all devastated by their
tragic death, we pray God to repose their souls for the were greatly
committed to the expansion of the gospel in the country”

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