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2nd Niger Bridge: Julius Berger will demobilize from site in June –Reps

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2nd Niger Bridge: Julius Berger will demobilize from site in June –Reps

•Says budgeted sum a waste if contract is not awarded

 

Against the backdrop of the uproar that trailed the revelation that contrary to belief that the Federal Government is yet to award the main contract for the construction of the Second Niger Bridge, the House of Representatives Committee on Works has accused the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) of delaying the due process of awarding the contract, saying the contractor, Julius Berger would demobilize from the site when it completes the early earth works next month.

The committee said President Muhammadu Buhari could not award the project because of the sabotage in the system.

According to the committee, while the works ministry has concluded early procurement processes for the award of the contract, the Federal Government hasn’t awarded the contract because of the delay in approving the due process by the BPP.

The committee said that the construction work being done by Julius Berger was the early earthwork, which is in four stages, and not the building of the bridge as the public is being made to believe.

Chairman of the House committee, Toby Okechukwu (PDP Enugu), made this disclosure in an interview with journalists on Thursday. He noted that while the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing had concluded work on the contract details and forwarded same to the BPP for approval, the lawmaker, however, regretted that the inability of the BPP to approve the contract is holding back the Buhari administration from awarding the contract for the bridge.

He said that the delay by the procurement agency in concluding the due process that will lead to the eventual contract award by the government may force the construction giant to demobilize from site in June, until the contract is approved and awarded to it legally. Okechukwu revealed that Julius Berger is scheduled to complete early earthwork on the bridge next month (June), warning that unless the BPP approves the contract for procurement. He said that the ministry has concluded negotiations with Julius Berger and submitted it to due process. Due process is holding the process down.

“Why are you not procuring the entire contract? And there is no framework for expenditure of money put in the budget if you don’t have a contract. The money put in the budget will be a waste if you don’t award the contract. If Julius Berger demobilises and has to mobilize again, it will cost you not less than N10 billion. And more importantly, you’ll not be able to take advantage of the seasonal weather issues.

“That’s why the monies put in 2015, 2016 and 2017 budget for the bridge haven’t been accessed because it’s not awarded,” he said.

 

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