Thursday, September 21, 2023
HomeAbuja NewsWike fumes over contract variations, vows sanctions

Wike fumes over contract variations, vows sanctions

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike, has queried the spate of contract variations across major projects in the FCT, describing the development as unacceptable.

The minister, who was on an inspection tour of projects in Bwari Area Council, lamented that the huge monetary difference in the contract variation of the Ushafa – Bwari Road project was alarming and unacceptable, saying the trend was stalling project completion in the territory.

Wike, who equally visited the Usuma Dam Water Works, located at Ushafa in Bwari, queried why the Usuma Water system contract which was awarded as an emergency project in 2017 at the cost of N20billion and further reviewed to N50billion in 2020, would still be requiring an additional N900 million to complete the job despite attaining 90 percent completion level as stated by the contractor.

An obviously angry Wike, said that his administration will not accept such variation as he vowed to overhaul the entire to ensure transparency in contract award and execution.

The minister, while briefing journalists after a visit to the Lower Usuma Dam said, “The job was awarded in 2017 at N20 billion. In 2020, the contract was revised to N50 billion. As I speak to you, they have paid about N50 billion and what is outstanding is about N900 million.

“Now they are telling us that the N900 million is not enough to complete a job they said had reached 90 per cent completion.

“Therefore, asking for another variation, we are not going to accept. Even the engineering services, we are going to overhaul the system,” he said.

The minister complained of so many variations in contract amount being handled by the Federal Capital Development Authority, which he described as “worrisome”.

“I have never seen a thing like this in my life. What we see in FCDA contract variations from N10 billion to N119 billion and from N50 billion to N200 billion is alarming, and I am not going to accept this,” he said.

Wike, who equally visited the Usuma Dam Water Works, located at Ushafa in Bwari Area Council, also expressed displeasure at the poor delivery of the water project.

The minister said he was told that the project was awarded as an emergency contract, but realised on getting to the project site that it has not been awarded fully.

He said that he just found out that what was given to the contractor was just a letter of intent in Aug. 2022.

“I knew the importance of this project in supplying water to our people within the city and its environs. Water is very important and so I have directed that the project is no longer an emergency,” he said.

Wike said that the project would be re-awarded, adding that his office would supervise the procurement process and invite other companies to bid for the project.

On abandoned projects, the minister said that more than 10 contracts have been selected and approved for completion, adding that agreements have been concluded with the contractors.

He said that the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Mr Shehu Hadi, had been directed to make sure that all the files approved since last week goes to the Director of Treasury.

He added that he has directed all payments to contractors be made latest by Friday.

“We agreed with some companies to deliver the projects in six months, and some 15 months.

“In fact, like the millennium tower, they (contractors) have agreed to finish it in two years’ time, and we are paying them N3 billion every month.

“On Monday we are flagging off the resurfacing of most of the roads in Garki, Maitama and Wuse because the roads are terribly bad,” the minister said.

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