Senate Committee on Works has discovered that 11 road contractors shunned sites after collecting mobilisation fees running into N4 billion.
This was revealed by the committee chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya, who directed the Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, to ensure that the contractors were not identified but the N4bn must be recovered from the non-performing contractors.
Senator Gaya, disclosed this during the budget defence of the Ministry of Works in Abuja, insisted that the Senate would not accept the development and further directed the minister to immediately give feedback to the Senate committee on the details and circumstances surrounding the development.
“11 contractors have collected mobilisation fees and there is zero implementation, some collected N500 million and one of the contractors collected N1 billion.
“For instance, in the case of dualisation of Otukpo township road, N1 billion was paid to the contractors. Minister, you need to check that and give us details in the next meeting. There is no point giving a contractor mobilisation fee when he cannot perform,” the senator.
The Senator also stated that the minister had to reconsider some of the roads given zero allocation in the 2016 budget because of their link to major cities in the country and assured that the committee would work on the budget proposal in order for funds to be made available and adequately allocated.
In his response, Fashola, explained that not all the contractors who were mobilised had zero performance, adding that “it is important to take the assessment that the committee has made on mobilisation into context in my document, contract performance is not zero.
“My understanding here is that going by the entire contract sum of N9.9 billion, by law, the contractors should get at least 15 per cent to move to site. The part where we have zero performance in the document, if a contractor was supposed to get N1.5million and he got N500 million, he cannot be mobilised. We will check and get back to you.’’
Fashola said the sum of N10 billion was budgeted for work on the Abuja-Lokoja road in the 2016 budget, adding that the sum of N16 billion was earmarked for Kano-Maiduguri road, while the rehabilitation of Apapa-Oshodi road would gulp N5 billion, among others.
According to him, the ministry would now only embark on road projects based on needs, adding it plans to first address economic routes so that a section could, at least, be completed.
“For 16 years, we have not finished the Lagos-Ibadan road, so we want to work in one place at a time. The second Niger Bridge is another project that is of priority because of its importance.
“We will then strengthen Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, to become the biggest construction company owned by government so that some construction works can be carried out by them,” he said noting that the ministry was considering Public Private Partnership, PPP initiative to generate funds for completion of road projects in the country.

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