The House of Representatives committee on Works and Housing has disclosed that the Federal Government has so far paid N70 billion to Julius Berger (Nigeria), Plc for the execution of the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road contract.
The committe also alleged that the contract for the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano dual carriage way awarded at the cost of N155 billion was over priced.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Abubakar Kabir made this disclosure while on an oversight function at the weekend.
The contract was awarded to Julius Berger (Nigeria), Plc at the cost of N155 billion with a completion period or 36 weeks.
He said while Julius Berger (Nigeria) Plc, has collected about N70 billion from the Federal Government, an assessment of the work done so far revealed that the contractor were yet to accomplish more than 20 percent of the total work.
The lawmaker said the unit cost of the project per kilometre stands at about N450 million.
According to him, as of the time the contract was awarded to Julius Berger, there were other companies that quoted about N90 billion for the 375-kilometre road, insisting, however, that even though there is no commensurate work done compare to the money paid so far, it must be delivered on schedule.
The chairman told the representatives of the ministry of works that “you are not talking to a novice. You are talking to professionals. The unit cost per kilometre for this project is about N450 million. We are not dumb.
“The cost is too high. Julius Berger said they signed for rehabilitation and now they are are doing reconstruction. But even at that, the cost is far above the cost of a virgin road anywhere in the world.
“We have to protect the interest of Nigerians because this is our country. We don’t have any other country to call our own. We don’t want anybody to send a memo to the president later regarding to funding for this project.
“There is nine months left on the contract and we must emphasise that it must be delivered on schedule. There will be no extension. Otherwise, we will apply the force of the constitution. We have a similar experience on the Lagos-Ibadan road and that project is almost 15 years now and it has not been completed.
“We don’t want that to repeat itself on this road. Julius Berger has confirmed to us that they don’t have funding problem. But the Julius Berger we knew in the past is not the same Julius Berger we have now. Their performance is far below expectations”.
He directed officials of the Federal Ministry of Works to ensure that emergency measures are put in place to address issues of pot holes causing accidents on a daily basis along the road.
But in their response, officials of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing disagreed with the members over the unit cost of constructing road.