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Published On: Mon, Sep 22nd, 2014

SETRACO, Niger Delta ministry differ on East-west Road

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nddc_logo_767826092By Umar Muhammad Puma

Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and SETRACO construction company, yesterday presented conflicting figures to the House Committee on the Niger Delta, on the on-going East-West road project.

While the ministry said a total of N97, 743, 483, 929.26bn including the Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P) had been paid to SETRACO, the construction firm insisted that N99bn had been paid to it.

Speaking before the committee, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Steve Oru, admitted that the conflicting figures might have come from the payment from SURE-P.

Oru denied any collusion with the contractors to short-change Nigerians and assured the committee that they would go back and reconcile the figures.

Even the Managing Director of SETRACO, Mr. Michael Hachenberg, could not explain the over N600m paid in excess to his company.

The minister hinted that Oron to Calabar is the new section that has been added to the East-West road awarded to the China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC. He said N349, 866, 255, 942. 76 bn was the total contract sum for the four sections.

Oru explained that, out of the sum, N268, 469, 689, 118 . 33 bn had been paid out of the N274, 726, 357, 326. 76 bn while N6, 256, 668, 208 . 43 bn is still left unpaid. The minister said N36, 598, 304, 621.10 bn is still required to complete the four sections.

Oru lamented that poor funding, partial releases of yearly allocations, dwindling of budgetary provisions and insecurity were part of the challenges inhibiting the completion of the road.

He was unable to give any definite time frame on when the road could be completed.

Chairman of the committee, Rep. Warman Ogoriba, said the committee would give the ministry and SETRACO more time to go and reconcile their figures.

The East-West road is a flagship of the Ministry of Niger Delta, with 338 kilometres long, cutting across the Niger axis.

The road is divided into four sections and awarded to three contractors. Sections one and two are being handled by SETRACO, while sections three and four are awarded to RCC and Gitto respectively.

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