Reps committee demands value for money, insists on quality road projects
The House of Representatives Committee on Works has told the Federal Ministry of Works as well as the contractor handling the Abuja–Keffi–Lafia–Makurdi Road Project that it must make sure that Nigerians get good value for their money.
The Committee Chairman, Abubakar Kabir Abubakar stated this when he led members of the Committee on an oversight tour which inspected ongoing road projects, insisting that the job must be delivered according to the stipulated timeline of April 2023, with emphasis on quality.
The inspection tour of the reconstruction and expansion of the 4.5km Abuja, Nasarawa road saw members of the Committee, asking critical questions regarding the design, quality of materials and the width of the lanes and shoulder, as well as the thickness of the road.
The lawmakers reiterated the need no ensure that every kobo appropriated is well accounted for through the quality of the job to be delivered.
They asked why the project was being done in an un-uniform manner with some sections jumping over and continuing ahead.
But Henry Usor, an official from the Road Sector Development Unit of the Federal Ministry of Works explained that compensation issues were responsible for such staggered implementation.
He said the Ministry only takes charge of portions on which compensations had been paid and asks the Contractor to commence work, adding that buildings and commercial facilities such as fuel stations can only be demolished after compensation issues are settled.
He assured that whatever issues and observations raised by the Committee on the job done would be noted and corrections ensured by the Contractor before the project is taken over by the Ministry.
Speaking to journalists after the inspection, the Reps Committee Chairman, Abubakar Kabir said the project, cost the federal government $542 million and is counter-funded by the China Exim Bank as well as the Chinese and Nigerian Governments.
He said the Chinese were contributing 85 percent of the funding, while Nigeria completed the remaining 15 percent.
The Committee Chairman insisted that there must be no compromise on the quality of the job that would be delivered at the end of the project, adding that the job done must be commensurate to the money spent.
“There should be no compromise in terms of quality, standard and timely delivery. I said this because we made adequate budgetary provisions for this project in the 2022 appropriation, so there should be no excuse as to why the work would be delayed any further.
“The 2023 budget will come in any moment from now, and this oversight is necessary for us to know how what was allocated last year was utilised for us to determine what’s needed and how to give approval,” he said.
Usor of the Ministry of Works assured that the project would be delivered within the stipulated time, saying the initial completion time given was 36 months, while the final completion time was 48 months.