By Joyce Remi-Babayeju
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barrister Nyesom Wike has frowned at the alarming rate of blotting of contracts variation for projects in Abuja,insisting that such is not acceptable to the current FCT Administration.
Wike made this known on Thursday during inspection of the on-going repair works at the Lower Usman Dam Water Treatment plant, in Bwari Area Council, which was shutdown for emergency repair last year.
The minister disclosed that the FCTA is going to overhaul the entire system , prioritize and fund ten projects, as part of the measures to check the menace of abandoned and uncompleted projects in the Capital City.
He said, “We are going to overhaul the entire system. I have never seen a thing like this before in my life. What you see in FCDA contract variation from N10bn to N120bn, from N50bn to N200bn. It is alarming and I am not going to accept it. ”
“It was unfortunate that while we went to the Gurara road, it was very embarrassing, and this is not what they are going to take. The job was awarded in 2017 at the cost of N20 billion, in 2020 the revised the contract sum to N50 billion. ”
“As I speak to you, we have paid almost N50bn, what is outstanding from what the man in charge has said is N900m, and now the N900m will not be enough to complete the job that they have donepp about 90percent and thereby we move to another variation. This is what we are not going to accept.”
” Now, having come to the Usman Water System, I was told that the contract has been awarded as an emergency contract. We just heard it now that it has not been awarded fully. Just a mere letter of intent to the contractor since last year August.”
“We know the importance of this, because it supplies water to our people in the city and this environment.”
“Water is very important, so I have directed that it is not an emergency again, If something has happened since last year, you call it an emergency till now, it is no longer an emergency.”
“If at all it was an emergency, we are going to start all over, and we are going to supervise the procurement process and we will allow other companies to bid as far as this project is concerned. So, it is alarming.”
Furthermore, the Minister noted the FCTA is choosing about 10 contracts, for which companies handling them have been called, and agreement have reached.
“We have agreed with some companies for six months, and we have agreed with some companies for 15 months. We do not want any project that without funding, we will not have one project. Depending on the national budget is a problem.”
“Why the Executive Secretary of FCDA is not here is because I directed him not to join us and ensure that all the files are approved since last week, go to the director of Treasury and payment must be made latest tomorrow (Friday). ”
“Then, we are signing with those companies, in essence, we have introduce an ISPO to bind our project to our internally generated revenue. So, at the end of every month, we will know what each company is taking and then we will know the duration of the contract will end.”
“So, we will utilize the IGR to tie it to specific projects, so that will reduce the abandoning of projects in the FCT. On Monday, we are flagging off the resurfacing of most of the roads in Garki, Maitama, because the roads are terribly bad. I will make sure that the contractors are also paid. ”
The minister revealed that projects would be reviewed to ensure they finish one after the other.
We can take up other projects, not carry 100 projects and you cannot complete one. You should take one and finish it, then you go to another one. If not, you will see projects littered all over, he explained.