…ULO moved to Site without the Knowledge of Ministry of Works.
By Michael Odiah
The Delta State Commissioner for Works, Hon James Augoye has disclosed that the 1.882km Maryam Babangida Way formerly Secretariat Road had no design at the time the contract was awarded adding that the contractor moved to site and started work with his own design on the N674.7m Road Project.
Hon Augoye made these revelations Wednesday, December 6, 2017 before the House Committee on Works stressing that the contractor, ULO started the project without the knowledge of the ministry of works and had attained a substantial level before the involvement of the ministry.
Speaking further, the Works Commissioner said that the contract was awarded on December 16, 2009 without advanced payment or mobilization, but that the sum of N179.6m was paid as raised from certificates 1 and 2 with the state owing the contractor N142.8m which is against the backdrop on the contractors claims that the state only owed him N28m.
However, in defense of the contractor, Augoye stated that the road was highly affected by the geographical disposition of the road and the closed ended drainage which led to constant settling of water on the road and its subsequent failure within a short time.
He submitted that the overall work done on the road was 48.4% and that the project was never completed but just earned a ceremonial commissioning which is against the backdrop of the contractors statements that the road was completed and commissioned.
Also speaking before the House Committee on Works was the Deputy Accountant General who represented the Accountant General of the State, confirmed that N24.7bn, N7.4bn and N179.4m was paid to ULO Consultancy Limited for the Asaba Airport Project, Ughelli/Asaba Sector C Road and Maryam Babangida way respectively and that all payments came with payment vouchers from related ministries to the project as the AG’s Office will not pay any money without vouchers adding that the N400m released to ULO on a monthly bases came from directives (ISPO).
The House Committee on Works in their response as chaired by Hon Evance Ivwurie, member representing Ethiope East State Constituency, charged the Ministry of Works on the need to keep the Committee abreast of all final decisions as regards the project and who they will be re-awarding it to.
He stated that the committee, henceforth should be kept abreast of all happenings as concern projects in the State declaring that the committee is willing to work even on Sundays as it is not ready to see the state put in such huge sum in wrong hands again.