FG settles N2.7tr debt to contractors

East-West road designed to fail, yet gulped N300 billion – Minister

The Federal Government says since 2015 it has paid a total sum of N2.7 trillion owed various contractors, of which N47 billion went to road contractors.

The Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Alhaji Suleiman Zarma, disclosed this during a stop-over to inspect the reconstruction and asphalt overlay of the 98.414 km Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Ajibandele-Shagamu Dual Carriageway, Phase IV.

Zarma noted that the monies were paid not for jobs awarded by the present government because it believed that the contracts were awarded to benefit Nigerians.

He said that the Buhari-led administration was resolute in paying contractors for jobs executed.

The minister, however, warned that the Federal Government would not condone sub-standard work.

He explained that the Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Shagamu being handled by Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) was very strategic.

According to him, the road is part of the International Trans- African Highway connecting Lagos to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya through Enugu in Nigeria and Doula in Cameroon.

He also inspected the rehabilitation, reconstruction and expansion work on the 83.40 km Lagos-Ibadan Dual Carriageway Section 1.

He commended the contractor, RCC, and urged them to redouble efforts to meet the July 3, 2018, completion deadline.

The contract was awarded in December 2014 with a completion date of January 2016.

The access road is very important to petrol tanker drivers as it will ease the evacuation of products from the NNPC Depot.

Meanwhile, contractors have identified delay in funding as one of the major challenges in project execution.

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