The speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday expressed dismay at Julius Berger’s failure to complete the N50bn contract of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) permanent site along the Airport, Abuja.
Inspecting the project yesterday in preparation for its commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari, Gbajabiamila said, “This is a project that Mr President has interest in and he has done all he can to make sure it is completed.
“The last time I inspected was two years ago, and it was 95 percent completed. It’s at 98 percent completion stage now. But I am disappointed that it is still not ready for commissioning by Mr President.”
But representatives of Julius Berger PLC, disagreed with Gbajabiamila, saying the government had not fulfilled all its financial obligations.
Director-General, NILDS, Prof. Suleiman Abubakar also alleged that the contractor had “reneged on the agreement.”
He said, “As of today, I can tell you, we are not owing Julius Berger; we are not indebted to Julius Berger. There’s no outstanding liability and the promise they made to us that they will go back to site, they reneged on that promise.
“That is why the speaker is furious that this edifice must be completed for commissioning in the next 30 days by Mr President. The project was to be commissioned on June 20, 2019, so nothing stops it from being commissioned now; they must do something between now and the next 30 days. That’s not how things are done.”
The project consultant, Zinga Hunwo, who addressed reporters, said, “Basically, it’s monetary issues between the client and the contractor. If he (contractor) receives money, he’ll return to site.”