By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has charged the contractor handling the Dualization of Aba – Ikot Ekpene Road, Section 1 to source and deploy equipment and personnel locally to fast track the pace of work on the road project.
The Minister gave the charge during the inspection of the project.He said, “Start hiring local equipment and hire local people that you need, start training them for engagement while waiting for the one from China.”
A statement signed by Stephen Kilebi Deputy Director (Press) said Fashola directed that between now and March all the bad portions of the road must be made motorable before the rains come.
He said, “Try and repair the bad portions first before the rains come, so that these people will know that their government care about them. So if you do not finish the construction of the road, they will know the road is getting better”.
While speaking to newsmen, the minister said the contract was initially awarded to a different company but had to be terminated due to poor performance and now re-awarded to Messrs CGGC Global Projects Nig. Limited.
Speaking earlier, the contractor complained that the equipment and some of the personnel they wanted to use were stuck in China as a result of the outbreak of corona virus.
Similarly, while inspecting work on the Dualization of Odukpani – Itu road the minister expressed optimism that the contractor, Julius Berger Nigeria Limited that is handling 21Kilometres of the road will do everything possible to ensure that the road is motorable during the rainy season even if the construction was still on going.
The Minister assured the contractor that he doesn’t need to leave the site on funding basis because he had enlisted the project for SUKUK funding hence they wont run out of money
He further informed that the other bad portions of the Odukpani- Itu road which so many people didn’t understand the contractual responsibilities, had been awarded to another company, so we have a contractor on both sides.
The Permanent Secretary for Works in Akwa Ibom State, Engr. John Itiat expressed happiness over the commitment of the Federal government to the work on the road.