Home News FG Orders Julius Berger to Complete Bodo-Bonny Road Project

FG Orders Julius Berger to Complete Bodo-Bonny Road Project

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The Federal Government has ordered the contractor handling Bodo-Bonny road and bridges project Julius Berger PLC, to go back to site and complete the project or lose it to another firm.

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, gave the directive when he received on a courtesy visit a delegation of Bodo–Bonny Road Peace Committee to his office at Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja on 5 December,2023

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Barr Orji Uchenna Orji, Umahi assured the host communities to the Bodo-Bonny Road and Bridge project in Rivers State that the Federal Government would ensure the completion of the Bodo-Bonny Road and bridge project on record time.

He stated that the ministry would make sure that the Bobo-Bonny road project would be completed by April 2024.

He said, “Nobody will hold this country to ransom, if they cannot do it, another person will come and do it and finish it even better but the only charge I give to you is not to allow any equipment out of sight until they complete the project”

The minister, who described the project as a catalyst for economic revolution in the area, stated that the project was awarded to Julius Berger by the previous administration and only about 84% of the project has been completed.

He revealed that there was a partnership agreement in 2017 between the Federal Government via the Federal Ministry of Works and NLNG on modalities for the funding of the project.

He, however, wondered why the contractor; Julius Berger, was no longer on site despite their commitment under their agreement to deliver within the revised date of completion.

He faulted the stand of Julius Berger on variation of the project even when the company had signed a commitment to complete the project without asking for further variation.

He said, “No equipment must be allowed to be moved out of sight, they must complete that project as agreed and as signed and nothing has removed that responsibility which they willingly on their own signed.

“I implore you the peace committee to report to me the progress that has been made on that road.

“Bobo-Bonny project was augmented to N199 billion; I am told by the Ministry and NLNG Limited (NLNG) that there was a document signed by Julius Berger that the project cannot be varied which means that the project cost cannot be increased, the project is about 35 kilometres”

The minister thanked the host communities for maintaining peace with the contractor handling the project despite the delays and charged them to continue with their peaceful disposition to contractors handling projects in their area.

The minister added that the federal government will equally handle a coastal road in the area of even greater site challenges, and the cost would not be up to what the government is paying Julius Berger.

He said, “I respect them for their quality and commitment, but we shouldn’t be taken for granted. It is a character of arrogance for them to demobilise from the site.”

In his remarks earlier, the Federal Director, Bridges and Design, Engr. O. O. Awosanya, said the initial date of completion was supposed to be December 31, 2023 and that the road consisted of 13 bridges.

He said, “We have three main bridges and we have nine mini bridges and one bridge over the pipeline. The project completion as of today is about 84% and the contractor has requested for a review which is against the spirit of the propagated agreement that was signed between the Federal Government, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas and JB in 2021”

Delivering the mission statement of the delegation of the Bodo-Bonny Road Peace Committee, the Acting Chairman and leader of the delegation, Dr. Charles John Jumbo, thanked President Bola Tinubu for the massive intervention he is bringing to the road sub-sector and appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Works in changing the narrative of the road infrastructure in Nigeria

He said, “We also take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for appointing a distinguished engineer and administrator of your calibre to oversee the crucial Federal Ministry of Works. Your appointment has indeed sparked hope within us for the successful execution of various infrastructure projects within Nigeria, especially the Bodo-Bonny Road and Bridges Project.”

He said the delegation was in the minister’s office to register their displeasure over the sudden demobilisation from the site by Julius Berger despite the huge funds committed by the Federal Government through NLNG.

He further implored the timely intervention of the Federal Government to avert the imminent hardship to be faced by the people of the area.

“We observed the seeming demobilisation of the contractors, Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc from the project site at about 80 percent completion, leaving us deeply troubled as the Peace Committee and representatives of the communities directly imparted by the vital road network, we are apprehensive that the project’s discontinuation might result in yet another addition to catalogue of abandoned initiatives,” he said.

“We earnestly implore your immediate attention and intervention in addressing the current state of the Bodo–Bonny Road Project. Our communities remain committed to fostering peace and progress and the successful completion of this project.”

(Leadership)

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