FG Gives Julius Berger 14 Days To Resume Work On Bodo-Bonny


By Alice Etuka, Abuja

The Federal government has ordered the contractor handling the Bodo- Bonny road construction to return to site within 14 days or risk appropriate sanctions.

Director Information and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Works, Ben Goong disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

According to the statement, Works Minister, Engr. David Umahi gave the marching order at a meeting with the handlers of the road project, Julius Berger PLC, as well as representatives of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas NLNG and Royal Fathers from Bonny Kingdom and other members of the host communities in Abuja.

Umahi explained that the Bonny-Bodo road contract which was initially awarded at the cost of N120 billion in 2015, was later varied at N199 billion with a completion dateline of December 2023, which had since elapsed.

He deplored the unilateral stoppage of work by Julius’ Berger, describing the action as unacceptable.

While rejecting in total, Julius Berger’s request for variation based on fluctuations in exchange rate and increasing cost of material, the Minister said government does not award contract based on exchange rate.

He pointed out that no contractor will come to government for a downward review of the cost of any project if the exchange rate becomes one naira to one dollar, adding that government cannot anchor contract cost based on exchange rates variations.

Senator Umahi was particularly unhappy that the timelines for the completion of the project were not adhered to, maintaining that if the project were completed in December 2023, as contained in the contract agreement, issues of high exchange rate and increasing cost of materials would not have arisen.

He however promised that he would make a presentation to President Bola Tinubu for a marginal augmentation to ensure that the project was completed on or before December 2024.

Earlier in his presentation, the Managing Director, Julius Berger Plc, Engr. Dr. Lars Richter called for the variation of the contract which he said had become necessary in view of the declining value of the Naira and rising cost of construction materials in the country.

The Managing Director drew the attention of the Minister to the time lag when the contract was awarded in 2015 when the exchange rate was N305 to a dollar, adding that the cost of building materials has since risen by over 1000%.

Contributing, the Deputy Managing Director of NLNG, Olakunle Osobu pointed out that the contract which is being funded through the Tax Credit Scheme is intended to complement the Renewed Hope Agenda of the current administration, calling on all parties to the project to remain patriotic as well as make the necessary sacrifices for the actualisation of the project

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