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Roads: We Have N431 Billion Ready For Collection, Umahi Tells Contractors

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has announced to contractors handling Federal Road projects across the country that the President Ahmed Tinubu-led administration has N431bn ready to be paid out to them.

He made the announcement at a meeting with contractors in his office yesterday.

The minister equally told the contractors that henceforth all contractors will be required to sign performance contracts to guarantee that roads constructed would last for at least 10 years.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Information and Public Relations of the Ministry, Mrs. Blessing Lere-Adams.

Umahi also announced the Ministry’s intention to pay greater attention to dualised roads across the country.

She quoted the Minister as saying, “Why we are here now is to announce our intention to face most of the dualised roads in the country.

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“ I want to remind you that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is funding 50% percent of the contract sum and that funding goes up to 2025.

“We have N431B of money that is ready for contractors to clear but there is no certificate for it, if you are doing a job under Phase 1, make effort to make claims, if your job involves augmentation go back to your Regional Director for understanding before I sign the certificate, any certificate I sign now, I have to take account for it even when I have left office.”

The Minister tasked the contractors to stick to one lane if their job has not gone up to 50% completion; he said he had also come up with Performance Bond meaning that all new projects would be guaranteed for 10 years.

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He urged all contractors that have built roads that cannot last up to ten years to write to the Ministry to either stop work or rebuild the road to last 10 years, the Minister warned each of the contractors against coming up with excuses should any of their roads fail to meet the required standards.

The minister appealed for cooperation in ensuring that the concrete technology which the administration was moving towards succeeds.

According to him, this technology has been successfully put to use in India and Singapore.

Earlier, Engr. Umahi encouraged the contractors and other stakeholders to key into the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President, he said this Administration has 18000 kilometre of roads and inherited a contract sum of about N14.1 trillion and out of which N4trillion is being paid in all those projects, some of the projects have lasted between 10 to 20years.

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The Minister said some contractors have jerked up the contractor sum by hundred percent and that is the reason they are not getting paid.

“We are going back to the original concept of the projects and the necessity of any additional works and also see how we get a fair deal, expecting an endorsement from the Ministry of what is not acceptable to Nigerian Society of Engineers is not possible,“ the Minister said.

Umahi also noted that “ Mr President understands road infrastructure, If I come before him with a contract of N44B reviewed to N144B contract sum, I must be able to provide details of how the cost came about.”

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