FCT Streetlight Contractors Blame AEDC for Persistent Darkness in Abuja

Sunday Aborisade in Abuja

The Streetlights Maintenance Contractors in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have attributed the constant darkness being experienced on the major highways in the federal capital to the consistent power failure from the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

The Legal Secretary of the contractors, Festus Ugwegbu, in a statement issued on their behalf yesterday in Abuja said the streetlights are always active and ready to shine at night if not for the constant outages and load shedding by the AEDC.

The contractors disputed media reports about the darkness in the Federal Capital Metropolis and its environs, which had been wrongly attributed to the laxity of streetlight contractors.

Part of the statement read:  “To put the record straight, the contract was awarded in August 2022, and it is expected to end by July 31, 2024, with a fixed contract rate from inception, irrespective of inflation and the hike in prices of materials and labour.

“Nevertheless, we, the contractors, have been optimally delivering our assigned responsibilities despite our failed appeals to the FCD administration for a review of the contract sum, and a price variation to reflect the effects of inflation on the cost of executing this project.

“In addition, it should be noted that there are some streets in FCT that are not under the maintenance of any contractor -the Department of Facility and Maintenance can testify to this fact.

“Therefore, it is unfair and scandalous to generalise that Abuja is dark because of contractors’ inefficiency, who are almost at the end of their two year contract and have fulfilled all their contractual obligations thus far.

“Despite the effort of the contractors who worked assiduously to ensure that the city is lit up, we are yet to be paid in accordance with the contract terms and conditions signed by the FCT administration.

“It may surprise Nigerians to know that the contractors are owed seven months now, and this has been the treatment from the FCT administration.

“Meanwhile, the contractual agreement says that payment attracts penalties if it is more than 90 days.

“Furthermore, the high rate of vandalism, as mentioned, which obviously affects the total cost of contract execution, has not deterred us from performing our contractual obligations optimally.”

The contractors also clarified that the scope of their projects did not cover solar powered streetlights.

The statement further read: “At this juncture, may we also inform the public that maintenance and security of solar powered streetlight installations in FCT is not covered by our contract and any vandalism to that installations might render the area to darkness at night.

“We are, however, surprised that when it remains only two months to complete the contract of two years, the FCT administration suddenly realised that we were underperforming after we had borrowed money to execute the contracts to contribute our quota in securing the Federal Capital Territory.

“To conclude, the darkness in FCT is not the fault of the contractors handling the project but the prevailing power outage in the country.

“As professionals, the solution to the problem of darkness in FCT is to provide a dedicated and independent power source to serve and support the illumination of our streets.

“Steps should also be taken by the administration to ensure that areas not currently under the purview of any contractor is duly awarded to an eligible contractor for maintenance and security. “We believe once our suggestions and concerns are taken into consideration, all efforts to ensure the illumination and security of our streets will be appreciated.”

Related Articles