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Lawmakers decry poor level of Calabar-Itu road construction

Members of the Adhoc Committee of the House of Representatives on “abandoned roads in the country” has decried the poor level of construction work on…

Members of the Adhoc Committee of the House of Representatives on “abandoned roads in the country” has decried the poor level of construction work on the Ikot Ekpene- Itu-Calabar road.

Chairman of the committee, Francis Udoyok, said what they saw was not a true reflection of what they were told, and expressed shock at the manner the contract for the dualization of road was awarded.

Speaking with journalists after inspecting the Akwa Ibom state section of the road from Ididep in Ibiono Ibom local government  area to Ayaedehe in Itu local government areas respectively, Udoyok noted that failed portions of the road was not included in the contract.

He stated that the inconsistency in the award of the road was a surprise to the committee, and assured the people of the area that the pains they experienced on the road would soon be a thing of the past when the committee hands over its report to the Minister of Works.

Udoyok, alongside six members of the ad-hoc committee, said the road traversed about three states,  making it very important to the economy of the country.

He urged the Federal Government to release enough funds to the company handling the road so as to complete it on time, despite paucity of funds.

The Chairman ruled out foul play despite the discrepancies noticed in the award of the contract, and promised that the issues noticed would be addressed to the appropriate quarters for necessary actions to be taken  especially in awarding the areas left out in the first contract award.

“We have come to confirm the so called award for the dualization of Ikot Ekpene-Calabr-Itu road is not in complete truth; a section of it has been awarded. You can see from where we stand, the end of the beginning of section one, so to speak. Here is Ayadehe in Itu local government council to where you have the Power Plant in Odukpani local government council, and it is not awarded.

“After the Power Plant is another award to Odukpani junction; even the beginning of the project from Ikot Ekpene to Ididep is not awarded. So we have a bad spot of over 27 kilometres that is not awarded. Then they come in-between and awarded about 21 kilometres, then you leave 29.3 kilometres and go and awarded another 9.3 kilometres. So you can see the level of inconsistency.

“We know that as a committee, we are going to address this and we know that the Minister for Works will see reasons with us, possibly, send another advance inspection team to authenticate what we are coming with. I believe that it is high time that value is added to our money spent. We are happy that the company (Julius Berger) has been useful to us in showing what we need to see and in concluding our investigation, I think it will be something of great importance to better the lives of Nigerians.

“We are not comfortable with what we see, but we know that the Minister of Works is going to look at all the issues that we have raised, I am sure as a listening government something positive will be done to stop the suffering of the people.

“Some people spend hours on this road and that is not commendable by any means; we expect that the Federal Ministry of Works will live up to expectation by being proactive because we see no reason why the beginning of a road cannot be awarded but the middle is awarded, the next middle is not awarded, then the other side is awarded, it is not commendable.

“Besides, we intend to advise and suggest that this road should be one of the roads to be funded by Sukuk fund, where the contractor will be sure that whatever he is doing, he will be paid for, and we know that Berger has a reputation and integrity in terms of construction in Nigeria. We expect them to leave up to expectation,” he stated.

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