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Fri, Sep 8, 2023 7:55 AM

Minister of FCT Rejects Variations in Ushafa - Bwari Road Contract Cost

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Minister of FCT Rejects Variations in Ushafa - Bwari Road Contract Cost
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, has rejected the constant variations in the contract cost of the Ushafa - Bwari Road project. Wike expressed his displeasure with the consistent increase in the contract amount, calling it "very embarrassing." He also criticized the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) for the numerous variations in other contract amounts. The minister vowed not to accept any further variations and vowed to overhaul the engineering services involved. Additionally, Wike visited the Lower Usuma Dam Water Works rehabilitation and expressed dissatisfaction with the project's delivery.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, has rejected the repeated variations of the Ushafa - Bwari Road project contract amount. Wike expressed his displeasure with the consistent increase in the contract amount, calling it "very embarrassing."

During a briefing with journalists after a visit to the project sites, Wike voiced his concerns about the contract's ever-increasing cost. The project was initially awarded in 2017 with a budget of N20 billion. However, in 2020, the contract amount was revised to N50 billion.

According to Wike, the government has already paid approximately N50 billion, but there is still an outstanding amount of about N900 million. Despite this, the contractors claim that the remaining funds are insufficient to complete the project, which they claim is 90% completed.

"Asking for another variation, we are not going to accept," Wike said adamantly. He also expressed his dissatisfaction with the contractor's engineering services and pledged to overhaul the entire system.

The Minister of FCT also lamented the frequent variations in contract amounts handled by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), labeling the situation as "worrisome" and unprecedented in his experience.

"I have never seen a thing like this in my life," Wike remarked. "What we see in FCDA contract variations from N10 billion to N119 billion and from N50 billion to N200 billion is alarming, and I am not going to accept this."

Besides his concerns about the Ushafa - Bwari Road project, Wike also expressed dissatisfaction with the Lower Usuma Dam Water Works rehabilitation project. He discovered that the project, intended as an emergency measure, had not been fully awarded.

Contrary to expectations, the contractor had only received a letter of intent in August 2022. This lack of progress compelled Wike to remove the emergency status of the project, deeming it inadequate and in need of re-awarding.

Wike announced that his office would supervise the procurement process for the project's re-award. He also stated that other companies would be invited to bid for the project, ensuring transparency and competitive pricing.

Emphasizing his commitment to completing abandoned projects, Wike confirmed that over ten contracts had been approved for completion. Agreements with contractors were also concluded, and the Executive Secretary of FCDA, Mr Shehu Hadi, was instructed to ensure that the approved files were forwarded to the Director of Treasury.

Furthermore, Wike directed that all payments to contractors be made by Friday, adding that each contractor would receive monthly payments based on the agreed project completion period and tagged to Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) figures.

"We agreed with some companies to deliver the projects in six months, and some in 15 months. In fact, like the millennium tower, they (contractors) have agreed to finish it in two years' time, and we are paying them N3 billion every month," Wike explained.

In conclusion, the Minister of FCT is determined to tackle the issue of contract variations head-on and ensure accountability and efficient project delivery. He plans to overhaul the engineering services involved and re-award projects that have been poorly executed. Wike's commitment to completing abandoned projects is a positive step towards improving infrastructure in the Federal Capital Territory.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-08 News

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