By Christiana Ekpa
The Senate Committee on Works has asked the federal government to terminate the N3.2 billion contract for the reconstruction of Wannue-Yadev road in Benue, claiming that the contractors handling the project are incompetent.
The 19-kilometre road contract, awarded in 2013, had a completion period of 24 months, however, the chairman of the Senate committee on works, Kabiru Gaya, said in Gboko that the committee was “greatly disappointed” that not much had been done four years after the contract was awarded.
“We have gone round several portions of the road; we have asked questions and made observations. Our conclusion is that the contractor lacks the capacity to handle the job.
“We have resolved to ask the Federal to terminate the job and engage a competent firm. Huge monies have been paid to the contractor with nothing to show for it. We cannot continue like that,” he said, adding that the contractor had failed to live up to expectations, “in spite of several letters asking him to sit up”.
“At some spots on the road, asphalt was being laid without leveling the affected areas; the contractor also scrapped large portions of the road last year and disappeared, making them impassable. We feel that this is being insensitive.
“The point we are trying to make is simple. Since the Federal Ministry of Works has written three times threatening to revoke the contract, the job should be terminated. We shall investigate it and hand over the report to EFCC.
“It is not right to allow contractors to collect tax payers money and waste it,” he said.
George Akume (APC,Benue North-West), who also spoke to newsmen, expressed dismay over the state of federal roads in Benue.
Akume claimed that cement dealers, who ply the Gboko/Makurdi road with heavy loads, were responsible for most of the massive damage and should be made to assist in the reconstruction.