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Threat by Umahi to Cancel N870 Billion Contracts with Five Firms for Lokoja-Benin Road

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Engr. David Umahi, the Minister of Works, has issued a warning to terminate contracts worth over 870 billion Naira with five firms responsible for the Lokoja-Benin Road.

Umahi instructed the contractors handling sections I-IV of the road in Kogi and Edo states to either sign the revised contracts immediately or risk losing their jobs.

During a meeting at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja, Umahi gave this directive to representatives from Mothercat, CCECC, Dantata & Sawoe, CGC, and RCC.

The minister also mandated the ministry to conduct a thorough audit of ongoing projects within seven days to evaluate the progress, personnel capacity, and equipment usage by the contractors.

These details were disclosed in a statement released by Mr. Uchenna Orji, the Special Adviser (Media) to Umahi, on Sunday.

Umahi criticized the construction companies for their lack of commitment, questioning why they failed to sign the updated contract documents even after participating in the re-scoping and review process.

He highlighted the initial cost of the project, which had escalated to over 870 billion Naira before President Bola Tinubu’s administration took over.

Upon assuming office, Umahi discovered the project was significantly inflated and refused to seek approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

After extensive discussions with the contractors lasting over five months, a decision was made to revise the project specifications, with a focus on the construction materials to be used.

Umahi emphasized the importance of contractors adhering to agreed-upon rates and timelines when signing contracts, warning that non-compliance would result in job termination.

He asserted that the ministry would not tolerate contractors who lack the necessary resources to fulfill their obligations and emphasized the need for transparency and accountability in project execution.

Furthermore, Umahi cautioned that contractors must strictly comply with contractual terms and not hold the ministry or the country hostage with unreasonable demands.

The Director of Highways, South, C. AnA Ogbuagu, confirmed that the contractors had initially accepted the revised terms and received letters of award, but only RCC had responded positively to the draft addendum.

CGC, one of the contractors, assured their commitment to the minister’s directive, mentioning that a draft had already been forwarded to the head office.

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