The House of Representatives Committee on Works, on Thursday, declared that with the amount of sleaze involved in the handling of the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road projects, it will be impossible for them to be completed and commissioned by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Besides, the legislators also described Julius Berger plc, as incapable of handling the three projects; they suggested that the road projects be split and shared to other controls to guarantee speedy completion, as they accused the company of submitting doctored documents claiming work done on the projects.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep Abubakar Kabir (APC-Kano), made the disclosure yesterday at the National Assembly Complex, after receiving the submission of the contractor, Julius Berger on the three projects.
“At the rate at which the slow pace of working is going on, there is no way that President Buhari will commission 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Express Way, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kani road, during his tenure”, Rep. Kabir submitted.
The lawmakers who took turns at the opening of the enquiry to lambaste the construction giant for failing to speed up the projects, even after collecting N200 billion from government, the company was slow in handling the key contracts.
“Despite collecting more than N200 billion, Julius Berger is still yet to do substantial work on the projects”, Kabir said, adding that ” The documents presented (By Julius Berger) at the hearing, are fake”.
The Chairman of the Committee noted that “We are recommending that these projects should be split and awarded to other companies because we don’t think Julius Berger alone, can’t handle them”.
The 2nd Niger Bridge, was awarded for N206,151,693billion, the Kaduna-Abuja Road, was awarded for N155billion, while the 1st section of the Lagos-Ibadan road was awarded for N134billion.
The lawmakers also vowed to prevent any interested party from relooting the Abacha Loot, earmarked for the projects by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria to secure the Abacha looted money, is well-documented, the government has said the money will be used on these critical projects, we will not allow the money to be relooted through inefficiency and corruption.”
According to him, “We cannot sit by and ignore the plight of Nigerians suffering daily on these roads, we will not allow the efforts of the President to deliver these projects to Nigerians, be in vain.”
The House’ enquiry on the three critical projects, followed a resolution of the House 27th February 2020 mandating its Committee on Works, to investigate the work done on the 2nd Niger Bridge and the two other road projects, awarded under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).