A total of 15 contracts, valued at the sum of N38,635,241,185.59. awarded through the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing (Works Sector), has been abandoned, investigation by Daily Trust on Sunday have revealed.
The projects, spread across 10 states, according to our findings, were awarded between 2005 and 2015 for the rehabilitation of roads and bridges. While three of the projects were cited in Kano, two each were cited in Ondo, Adamawa and Enugu. Lagos, Oyo, Taraba, Osun, Sokoto and Abia states has one each.
Details of the abandoned projects were contained in the current annual report of the Auditor-General for the Federation (2016), which was transmitted to the National Assembly on May 31, 2018.
Among these projects, according to the audit report, exclusively obtained by Daily Trust on Sunday, is the contract for the rehabilitation of Ikorodu road in Lagos State, with contract No. 6032, which was awarded at the cost of N1,420,873,146.00 to a construction company in December 2009.
Investigation revealed that although the completion period, which expired on September 15, 2010, was extended to August, 31, 2011, only 23.10 per cent work was done, even though as at December 30, 2011, the sum of N441,090,823.27, which represented 31.04 per cent of the contract sum, had been paid to the contractor.
Also abandoned, according to our checks, is the contract for the construction of 14.2km road, Ijebu Igbo-Olomi road in Oyo State, which was awarded at the cost of N1,381,556,046.26 in February 2010 and was to be completed in March 2012.
However, after receiving the sum of N207,232,406.94, the contractor was said to have demobilised from site since October, 2014.
Findings revealed that the sum of N35,783,489.36 had so far been recovered from the company, leaving an outstanding balance of N171,449,909.58.
Also abandoned is the contract for the design/construction of Ose bridge, along Ifon Uzebbu road, Ondo State. It was awarded in November 2005 at the cost of N1,431,585,776.78.
However, an audit visit to the project site on September 14, 2014, revealed that the contractor was no longer on site, while the road signs had not been erected and the road markings were yet to be done. It was also discovered that some areas of the road, about 1metre to the main bridge, was already failing and had been chopped off.
The contract for the rehabilitation of the 24km Akungba-Ikare-Omuo- Kabba road in Ondo and Ekiti states, which was awarded at the total cost of N1,534,911,551.25 in April 2009, to be completed in April 2011, was also abandoned.
Investigation revealed that the project had been abandoned by the contractor since January, 2012 after collecting the sum of N677, 836,449.89, even when the actual work executed was valued at N636,034,714.18.
In Taraba State, the contract for the construction of a 5.5km road at Takum-Dogongwa-Benue State border in Taraba State, with contract number 6232, which was awarded at the sum of N1,030,107,509.50 with a commencement date of March 8, 2014 and to be completed on October7, 2014, has also been abandoned.
Findings revealed that although a mobilisation fee of N147,158,215.65 was paid to the contractor, only 3.2 per cent contract accomplishment was recorded.
Similarly, a contract for the rehabilitation of 38km Mubi-Maiha Sorau road in Adamawa State, with contract number 6215, which was awarded to an Investment Company at a contract sum of N2,997,940,010.26, has been abandoned.
Although the contract, which was to commence on January 30, 2014, was expected to be completed on July 29, 2015 and a 15 per cent advance payment of N449,691,005.50 made to the contractor, only 1.5per cent of work was executed.
A contract for the rehabilitation of the 20km Jiberu-Sorau road in Adamawa State, which was awarded at a contract sum of N1,594,558,428.72, was also abandoned.
The project was to commence on December 6, 2009 and was expected to be completed on December 16, 2012, but it was gathered that the contractor abandoned the site since October, 2010 after collecting payments amounting to N400,824,597.24.
In Osun State, a contract for the rehabilitation of the 30km Gbonga-Kwara State border road in Osun State with contract number 6049, which was awarded to a construction company at the cost of N468,275,940.02 in October 2009 and to be completed on April 5, 2010, was also abandoned even though the completion date was extended to March 30, 2012.
An audit inspection visit to the project site in September, 2016 revealed that the project had been abandoned since July, 2011, after the contractor was paid the sum of N194,423,280.55, representing 41.52per cent of the project sum (including mobilisation fee).
Among the three contracts abandoned in Kado State is the one for the rehabilitation of Hadejiya-Kiri-Kasama-Nguru road, Phase1, number 6072, which was awarded at the cost of N7,953,487,029.18.
Although the contractor was said to have commenced work on September 20, 2010, only 56.54per cent of the work, which was about 32.8km, was executed before abandoning the site due to ‘non-budgetary provision in 2014’. The completion period was said to have been extended in the first instance to May 19, 2015 and further extended to May, 2017, but the work remained undone.
Also abandoned in Kano State is the contract for the construction of 10km Doka-Gulu road, with contract number 6149 in Rimin Gado, which was awarded to a construction company at the total cost of N836, 987,849.78 in December 2013. The contract was to be executed within 8 months, according to a signed agreement.
Although an advance payment of N113,591,241.64 was made to the contractor, it was discovered during an audit inspection that only 5.95per cent of the contract valued at N49,800,777.06 was executed.
Similarly, a contract for the construction of 21.26km single carriage way, Tamawa Gulu road project in Kano State, with contract number 6273, which was awarded to a construction company at the sum of N936,147,167.17, was abandoned.
A contract for the rehabilitation of Sokoto (Udus) Illela road, including repairs of Usman Danfodio University’s washed-out road and bridge in Sokoto State, with contract number 6118, which was awarded to a company at the sum of N2, 256,354,876.62, was also abandoned.
The contractor commenced work on March 14, 2012 on the project, which was to be completed in 24 months, but was said to have abandoned the site due to delay in payment of N420,726,652.92 on Interim Certificate number 4, dated August, 2014.
In Enugu State, two contracts were abandoned; one being contract for the rehabilitation of 40.5km Ogrute-Umuida-Unadu-Akpanua-Odolu road in Enugu and Kogi states, with contract number 6170, which was awarded to a construction company in February, 2013 at the sum of N12,951,207,018.75.
Similarly, the contract for the rehabilitation of 6.6km Amugo-Uno-Oriemba market, Amugo-Isiorji-Onuani road in Enugu State, with contract number 6221, which was awarded at the sum of N850,575,495.00, was abandoned.
The contract for the construction of Olokoro-Ahiaukwu-Itaja-Okwu-Obuohia/Isicourt-Ikwuana road, Phase II in Abia State, with contract number 6063, was awarded in March, 2010 at the sum of N990,673,340.30, was also abandoned.
No action taken
Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that although all the issues raised in respect to the abandoned projects were communicated to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Works, through an Inspection Report Ref. number OAuGF/AIR/FMPWH/16/VOL.I&II dated April 3 and 10, 2017, he did not respond to any of these issues.
“He should be appropriately sanctioned in accordance with financial regulations and compelled to implement all my recommendations,” the auditor-general stated in his audit report.