FERMA under probe for N3.5b road contract

| February 20, 2013 | 0 Comments

The House of Representatives is set to investigate the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) over the N3.5billion repair contracts for the Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriage way.

According to the lawmakers, developments on the project have made it imperative to find out if the contracts conform with the provision of the Public Procurement Act.

Abimbola Daramola (ACN, Ekiti), who moved the motion under a point of order, said it was necessary to investigate the repair work on the Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriage way awarded by FERMA to four contractors.

He said when a House committee went to look at the road project three months ago, the lawmakers promised to be back to assess the level of progress, but to his amazement, his trip on that road barely a week ago showed that the lawmakers might have been taken for a ride by the contractors.

Daramola said the road project that was split into four sections with each section awarded to different contractors was awarded last year by FERMA for N3,514,464,613.04.

The breakdown, according to the lawmaker, showed that Messrs Ferotex was awarded Enugu-Okigwe for N643,403,339.25; Messrs Mothercat, Okigwe-Umuahia for N1,105,000,000.00; Messrs Nigercat, Umuahia-km.163+500- Umuahia for N969,881,641.29; and Messrs Monatech-Km. 163+500 Umuahia-Aba for N796, 179,632.50.

He said: “While the original contract between FERMA and these contractors subsist, and due to road user’s outcry and slow and unimpressive pace of work by the above listed contractors, the Federal Ministry of Works had to draft in Messrs SETRACO Nigeria Ltd., Julius Berger Nigeria Ltd. and RCC Nigeria Ltd. on emergency intervention repairs of the same road in the run up to the Yuletide at a cost to be determined later based on evaluation of work done.

“If the contractors do not improve on the tempo and quality of the work, once the rainy season sets in, these may further draw back the performance of the contractors with dire consequences to the economic and social activities of motorists and other users of the roads.

“The award of contract for repairs of the same roads by FERMA and its parent Ministry of Works could amount to abuse of the Public Procurement Act and waste of public funds.”

The motion was unanimously adopted after the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, put it to voice vote.

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