Work On Abuja-Kano Road To Resume This Week – Umahi

By Alice Etuka, Abuja

The Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi has hinted that work will resume on the Abuja- Kano road this week.

Umahi announced the development on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 at a meeting with contractors handling Federal Government Projects in Abuja.

TheFact Daily gathered that work had been suspended on that road due to disagreement between the contractors and the Federal Ministry of Works “as a result of unilateral imposition of new standard conditions of contracts by the Minister, contrary to the existing conditions as approved by the Bureau Of Public Procurement (BPP)”.

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Umahi, however, disclosed that the feud with Julius Berger had been resolved, therefore, work would resume before the week runs out.

“When I commend Julius Berger very highly, some of you thought we would be quarrelling. By yesterday, we’ve resolved a lot of our issues and by this week, the Abuja-Kano work will resume”, he said.

On the issue of mobilisation, the minister urged contractors to, “remove your minds on advance payment. The Procurement Act says the client may give advance payments and we are willing to give advance payments to contractors who are very serious.

“But if we give you contract and you don’t go to site and start permanent work, you are waiting for mobilization, we will terminate the contract. Because advance payment of mobilization is not part of the contract, it’s at the discretion of the client.

“And the reason why in giving you jobs you ask for your financial capacity is to prove that you have the capacity to start. We are not saying we will not give you, but it is not your right”.

The Minister lamented the paucity of funds available to execute projects adding that they inherited a total 2600 projects totalling over 15 trillion naira but only about 2 trillion naira was certified and paid.

He said they had ongoing projects of about 13 trillion naira and had to make serious reflection after the fuel subsidy was removed coupled with “the challenges of the naira” which forced them to review ongoing projects.

As a result they came up with the need for Variation of Price. He however noted that this covered only fuel, diesel, bitumen and cement.

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