Umahi: I Inherited 18,000km of Road Contracts Worth N14.1tn



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The Minister of Works, David Umahi, yesterday said that the Bola Tinubu-led administration inherited about 18,000 kilometres of roads, with a contract sum of about N14.1 trillion.
The minister who disclosed that out of the N14.1 trillion, N4 trillion had  been paid, made the remarks while meeting with all contractors handling road ‘dualisation’ projects and all zonal directors of the ministry at its headquarters  in Abuja.

“Umahi told the contractors and stakeholders that the current  administration has 18,000 kilometre of roads and inherited a contract sum of about N14.1 trillion and out of which N4 trillion is being paid in all those projects,” a statement signed by the Director of Information, Press and Public Relations Unit, Blessing Lere-Adams, stated.

Stressing that some of the projects had lasted between 10 to 20 years,  the minister noted that  some contractors had jerked up the contract sums by up to 100  per cent, explaining that it accounts for why some of them had not been paid.
“We are going back to the original concept of the projects and the necessity of any additional works and also see how we get a fair deal. Expecting an endorsement from the ministry for what is not acceptable to the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) is not possible, “  the minister said.

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Umahi also said that President Bola Tinubu understands how road  infrastructure works. “ If I come before him  with a contract of N44 billion, reviewed to N144 billion contract sum , I must be able to provide details of how the cost came about,“  he maintained.
The minister further announced the ministry’s  intention to focus on  most of the ‘dualised’ roads across the  country.   “Why we are here now is to announce our intention to face most of the dualised roads in the country,” he declared.

He added: “ I want to remind you that the  Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is funding 50 per cent percent of the contract sums and that funding goes up to 2025.
“We have N431 billion of money that is ready for contractors to clear but there are no certificates for it. If you are doing a job under Phase 1, make effort to make claims.

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“If your job involves augmentation, go back to your regional director for understanding before I sign the certificate. Any certificate I sign now , I have to take account for it, even when I have left office, “ he maintained.
The minister tasked the contractors to move to one lane if their job had not gone up to 50 per cent completion, stressing that he had also come up with a performance bond, meaning that all new projects must be guaranteed for 10 years.

He urged all contractors that had built roads that he said cannot last up to 10 years to write to the ministry to either stop work or rebuild the road to last a decade.
He warned contractors that he would not listen to stories of failures on the roads due to  overloading, enjoining them to cooperate with him to build roads with concrete technology as it is done in India and Singapore.

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