Contractors defy Nigerian government Bello directives to return to sites – The Sun Nigeria

By John Adams, minna

Contractors responsible for various road projects across Niger state have defied the directives of the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, to return to the sites, saying the governor’s directives lack support in cash to enable them to return to the site.

The governor had, during the presentation of the provisional budget 2023, ordered the contractors responsible for various road projects in the state to return to the site since the rain was over.

A number of critical roads are under construction in and out of the state capital, with some of the contracts awarded three years ago.

These roads include Bunu-Genu Road, Abbaitoir-Unguwan Biri Road, Former NYSC Secretariat – Masallaci Idi-Unguwan Daji Roads, as well as Gogo Mailale Road which are at an advanced stage of completion.

However, the contractors running these routes have since abandoned the sites, seeing lack of payment as the reason, and have therefore vowed not to return until they have been paid.

But the governor also had when presenting the 2023 budget to the House of Assembly, claimed to have spent well over N9billon in 2022 alone on the construction of certain “critical roads” in the state.

Listen to him, “We have spent over N9 billion on the construction and rehabilitation of several roads across the state. Jubilee Road, Maje Junction to Kwamba and Suleja, Kontagora Township Roads, 10km Federal Road to Tegina Road have been completed. In addition, Old Alheri and Aliyu Babadoko, Lady of Fatima, Yusuf Kolawale and Dattijo Aliyu roads, all in Tunga-Minna, have also been completed”.

In addition to these, the Governor said that “Minna City Gate – Chanchaga Bridge, Garima -Gidan Kwanu, Ibeto Close, Morris Junction- Fertilizer Company, Pigsty and 4 other roads in London Street have all been completed”.

The governor, while ordering contractors to return to sites, said the government wants to complete all ongoing road projects before the end of the administration, adding that “I therefore call on contractors to mobilize immediately on the site because the rains have receded”.

Barely a month after the directives, contractors refused to return to job sites, saying they could not work under verbal directives without payment.

Some of the contractors who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said the lack of payment forced them off the sites, saying the last time the government gave them payment was in 2021, and wondered what they would return to the site to work on. with.

“You can see that we have moved some of our machines from the site because there is no payment. There is no way to return to the site without money, and again some of this work must be revised due to the high cost of materials in the market.

“We heard about the governor’s guidelines, but does he have cash support. No one has given us any money since January this year so how do you expect us to get back to the site,” he asked.

For example, one of the most critical roads whose deplorable condition has remained a nightmare for motorists and resulting accidents, is the 83-kilometre Minna-Bida road whose contract was awarded in April 2020 at cost of 24.3 billion with an execution period of 18 months.

However, with over two years since the contract was awarded, only five percent of the work has been completed and the contractor, Dantata and Sowoe, have almost abandoned the site with only skeleton work underway at the moment.

The Minna-Bida road has generated a lot of controversy lately over the source of funding for the project since its award.

While the government claimed to have requested a $181 million loan from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to finance the road project, the state governor, in a leaked letter to the Minister of Public Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, pleaded with the federal government. to take over the road and included it among the critical road interventions managed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation across the state.

The Minna-Bida road, if completed, will remain this administration’s only legacy since it came to power in 2015 but people have wondered if the project will ever see the light of day with only six months left in the road. life of this administration, following the pace of work.

Just last month, the state House of Assembly specifically authorized the governor to access a N14 billion loan from a commercial bank to allow the government to fund ‘ongoing critical roads’ in the state. ‘State.

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