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Lawmaker, ministry officials accused of inflating road contract cost from N9.8 billion to N54.3 billion

He said the contract was inflated from N9.8 billion to N54.3 billion.

• September 8, 2023
House of Representatives,
House of Representatives, [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Twitter handle of Reps NGR]

A civil engineering company, DC Engineering Ltd, has alleged that a lawmaker in the House of Representatives and officials of the Ministry of Works inflated the contract for constructing Ijebu-Igbo/Ita Ibadan Road.

Ade Adedeji, executive director of the company, said this when he appeared before the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on non-construction and rehabilitation of Ijebu-Igbo/Ita Ibadan Road in Abuja on Friday.

He said the contract was inflated from N9.8 billion to N54.3 billion, saying that the 41km road project was awarded to the company in 2018 at N9.8 billion with a completion period of two years.

Mr Adedeji said it took the ministry five years, from 2018 to 2023, to release the 15 per cent mobilisation fee of N1.3 billion.

He said the non-release of funds was responsible for the slow pace of work, saying that the 15 per cent mobilisation fee was paid in instalments.

He added that the last instalment was paid a few weeks ago.

Mr Adedeji said the company approached the ministry to review the contract from N9.8 billion to N14 billion due to inflation, but the ministry refused.

However, he said the company was surprised to notice that the same ministry had re-awarded the contract to another company, AREATECH Construction Ltd, at N54.3 billion without terminating the original contract.

In his presentation, Adedamola Kuti, the director, Highways South, Ministry of Works, who represented the ministry, said it terminated the contract in September 2022.

He was, however, silent on the request to review the contract to N14 billion by DC Engineering.

Mr Kuti also denied the allegation that a lawmaker was involved in the review of the contract sum.

Rep. Kwamot Laori, the committee’s chairman, said it was not out to witch-hunt people but to ensure the root causes of the failure of the road project were dug out.

(NAN)

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