By Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu
The House of Representatives has decried the slow pace of work on Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road projects, being constructed by Julius Berger and opined they should be split among other companies.
The House therefore ordered enquiry on the three projects following a resolution of the House on 27th February, 2020 mandating its Committee on Works to investigate the work done on the Second Niger Bridge and the two other road projects, awarded under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).
The Second Niger Bridge, was awarded at the cost of N206,151,693 billion, the Kaduna-Abuja Road, was awarded for N155 billion, while the 1st section of the Lagos-Ibadan Road was awarded for N134 billion.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Works, Hon. Abubakar Kabir, while receiving the submission of the company on the three projects yesterday in Abuja, said that the construction company was incapable of handling the three projects at the same time and therefore suggested that the road projects be split and shared to other contractors to guarantee speedy completion.
Kabir stated: “At the rate at which the slow pace of work is going on, there is no way that President Buhari will commission Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Express Way, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kani road, during his tenure.”
The committee berated the construction giant for failing to speed up the projects, even after collecting N200 billion from government.
The chairman added: “Despite collecting more than N200 billion, Julius Berger is still yet to do substantial work on the projects. The documents presented at the hearing, are fake.”
“We are recommending that these projects should be split and awarded to other companies, because we don’t think Julius Berger alone, can’t handle them.
“The efforts of the federal government of Nigeria to secure the Abacha looted money, is well-documented, the government has said the money will be used on these critical projects, we will not allow the money to be relooted through inefficiency and corruption.
“We cannot sit by and ignore the plight of Nigerians suffering daily on these roads, we will not allow the efforts of the President to deliver these projects to Nigerians, be in vain,” Kabiru noted.