The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Nyesom Wike has rejected the continuous variations of contact sums on road projects in Abuja, especially the Ushafa – Bwari Road project, citing several reviews on the contract sum.
Wike voiced after a visit to the project site along with the Minister of State, FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud and other government officials in Abuja.
He described the consistent variation of the contract cost of the project as embarrassing and unacceptable.
“The job was awarded in 2017 at N20 billion. In 2020, the contract was revised to N50 billion. As I speak to you they have paid about N50 billion and what is outstanding is about N900 million.
“Now they are telling us that the N900 million is not enough to complete a job they said had reached 90 per cent completion.
“Therefore, asking for another variation, we are not going to accept. Even the engineering services, we are going to overhaul the system”, he said.
The minister complained of so many variations in contract amount being handled by the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, which he described as “worrisome”.
“I have never seen a thing like this in my life. What we see in FCDA contract variations from N10 billion to N119 billion then from N50 billion to N200 billion is alarming, and I am not going to accept this”, he said.
Wike, who also visited the rehabilitation of Lower Usuma Dam Water Works, Gurara Road in Bwari expressed displeasure on the delivery of the water project.
The minister disclosed that he was told that the project was awarded as an emergency contract but realised on getting to the project site that it has not been awarded fully.
He added that he just found out that what was given to the contractor was just a letter of intent in Aug. 2022.
“I knew the importance of this project in supplying water to our people within the city and its environs. Water is very important and so I have directed that the project is no longer an emergency”, he said.
Wike said that the project would be re-awarded, adding that his office would supervise the procurement process and invite other companies to bid for the project.
On abandoned projects, the minister stated that more than 10 contracts have been selected and approved for completion, adding that agreements have been concluded with the contractors.
He disclosed that the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Mr Shehu Hadi had been directed to make sure that all the files approved since last week goes to the Director of Treasury.
Wike added that he has directed all payments to contractors be made latest by Friday.
The minister explained that based on the tagging of each project to Internally Generated Revenue, each contractor would be paid a certain amount of money every month based on the agreed project completion period.
“We agreed with some companies to deliver the projects in six months and some 15 months.
“In fact, like the millennium tower, the contractors has agreed to finish it in two years’ time and we are paying them N3 billion every month.
“On Monday we are flagging off the resurfacing of most of the roads in Garki, Maitama and Wuse because the roads are terribly bad”, the minister promised.