The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, has rejected the repeated variations of the Ushafa – Bwari Road project contract amount.
Wike declared his rejection while briefing journalists after a visit to the project sites along with the Minister of State, FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud and other government officials in Abuja on Thursday.
He described the consistent variation of the contract cost of the project as “very embarrassing”, saying “this is not what we are going to take.
“The job was awarded in 2017 at ₦20 billion. In 2020, the contract was revised to ₦50 billion. As I speak to you, they have paid about ₦50 billion and what is outstanding is about ₦900 million.
“Now they are telling us that the ₦900 million is not enough to complete a job they said had reached 90 per cent completion.
“Therefore, asking for another variation, we are not going to accept. Even the engineering services, we are going to overhaul the system,” he said.
The minister complained of so many variations in contract amount being handled by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), which he described as “worrisome”.
“I have never seen a thing like this in my life. What we see in FCDA contract variations from ₦10 billion to ₦119 billion and from ₦50 billion to ₦200 billion is alarming, and I am not going to accept this,” he said.
Wike, who equally visited the rehabilitation of Lower Usuma Dam Water Works, Gurara Road in Bwari, also expressed displeasure on the delivery of the water project. The minister said he was told that the project was awarded as an emergency contract, but realised on getting to the project site that it has not been awarded fully.
He said that he just found out that what was given to the contractor was just a letter of intent in Aug. 2022.
“I knew the importance of this project in supplying water to our people within the city and its environs. Water is very important and so I have directed that the project is no longer an emergency,” he said.
Wike said that the project would be re-awarded, adding that his office would supervise the procurement process and invite other companies to bid for the project.
On abandoned projects, the minister said that more than 10 contracts have been selected and approved for completion, adding that agreements have been concluded with the contractors.
He said that the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Shehu Hadi, had been directed to make sure that all the files approved since last week goes to the Director of Treasury. He added that he has directed all payments to contractors be made latest by Friday.
He explained that based on the tagging of each project to Internally Generated Revenue, each contractor would be paid a certain amount of money every month based on the agreed project completion period.
“We agreed with some companies to deliver the projects in six months, and some 15 months.
“In fact, like the millennium tower, they (contractors) have agreed to finish it in two years’ time, and we are paying them ₦3 billion every month.
“On Monday we are flagging off the resurfacing of most of the roads in Garki, Maitama and Wuse because the roads are terribly bad,” the minister said.