By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Surv. I Suleiman Zarma has urged contractors handling various federal projects in the South West Geopolitical Zone of the country to have confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration .
Zarma stated this recently while on inspection tour of the zone ,saying they should have confidence in the government as it will continue to pay them for contracts executed.
In a statement issued recently by AD, Information for:Director, Information , Eno Olotu (Mrs) said that the relationship between the contractors and Federal Government has evolved over the years and as such, they are not expected to stall work at their sites for fear of not being paid.
The Minister said that the present administration on assumption of office in 2015 paid a total sum of N2.7trn owed various contractors and specifically N47b to road contractors. According to him, “these monies were paid not for jobs awarded by the present government but did so believing that the contracts were awarded to benefit Nigerians”. He assured that President Buhari is resolute in paying contractors for jobs executed as at when due.
Fielding questions from journalists during the stop over inspection of the 98.414km Reconstruction and Asphalt Overlay of the Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Ajibandele- Shagamu Dual Carriageway, Phase 1V awarded to Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), the Minister urged the contractors to continue their work and not to fret over payment. He said President Buhari is a man of integrity and honour and will not renege on his promise.
Zarma however cautioned that the Federal Government will not condone sub standard work as such contractors are not to compromise standards in order to deliver durable roads to Nigerians.
He explained that the Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Shagamu is a very strategic route being part of the International Trans- African Highway connecting Lagos to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya through Enugu in Nigeria and Doula in Cameroon.
The Minister also inspected the 83.40km Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Expansion work of the Lagos-Ibadan Dual Carriageway Section 1. He commended the effort by the contractor, RCC and urged them to put more effort to meet the July 3, 2018 completion deadline.
Zarma also inspected the construction of 1.59km Rigid Pavement Access road to NNPC Depot in Mosimi along the Ikorodu-Shagamu Road.
He expressed displeasure that a reputable contractor like Borini Prono and Co Nig Ltd of over 30 years presence in Nigeria with outstanding jobs in the country could not deliver a 1.59km access road on time and said the excuse in the delay of their previous outstanding payments should not slow down the work on site. The contract was awarded in December 2014 with a completion date of January 2016.
The Minister assured that the issues delaying the completion will be speedily reviewed to ensure that the contractor mobilizes fully to site and completes the project this year. The access road is very important to petrol tanker drivers as it will ease the evacuation of their product from the NNPC Depot.