FG releases final N280bn Tranche for Bodo-Bonny road completion

President Bola Tinubu has authorized the release of the final N280 billion needed to complete the Bodo-Bonny Road in South-South Nigeria, aiming to boost the socio-economic development of Rivers State’s Bodo and Bonny communities.

Minister of Works, David Umahi, disclosed this during a site inspection on Wednesday. According to a statement by his Special Adviser, Hon. Orji Uchenna Orji, Umahi emphasized that Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the project’s contractor, must adhere to the December 2024 deadline.

“This was revealed by the Honourable Minister of Works, His Excellency, Sen. Engr. Nweze David Umahi CON during his inspection visit to the project site this 19th June 2024.

“He warned that the contractor handling the project, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, must work round the clock to beat the project delivery timeline of December 2024.

“The Honourable Minister expressed reservation over the Bodo-Bonny project administration by the contractor, insisting that the amount of money paid needed to correspond with the project completed.

“He, however, enjoined the contractor to ensure that no further excuses were given on the project delivery timeline as Federal Government would not approve further funds for the project for any reason of variation whatsoever.

Orju continued, “And in case the devil comes to play, whatever happens, we are not increasing this project cost.

“It’s a package, and it’s called lump sum final completion package to Julius Berger to do a beautiful job and attach their name.
It has been 11 years, and we don’t want it to exceed this year. And so it is in your interest that you cooperate.”

Additionally, Umahi commended President Tinubu’s commitment to the project and praised the Bodo-Bonny Peace Committee and NLNG for their cooperation and funding.

He however expressed dissatisfaction with RCC’s handling of the 15km East-West Road from Port Harcourt Eleme Junction to Onne Port Junction, citing significant delays despite substantial payments.

He said, “We are very sad with the manners and behaviours of this contractor, RCC. The federal government has paid over 40 billion on this project, and not even one kilometer has been completed. And let me make it very clear that the cost we have given on the review of this project does not attract any VOP.
There is no VOP on the project as far as the rates are concerned now.”

He suggested finding interim solutions to alleviate road users’ suffering until RCC resumes work.
During the inspection, other projects reviewed included the dualization of the East-West road section II and flood damage repairs, managed by Setraco Nigeria Ltd and Rock Result Nigeria Ltd, respectively.

Senator Onyekachi Peter Nwaebonyi and Professor Jasper Jumbo of the Bodo-Bonny Peace Committee praised the administration’s dedication to improving Nigeria’s road infrastructure.

NLNG’s Dienye Godson also expressed gratitude for the government’s efforts.
He said, “I must commend the Honourable Minister for all the efforts he has put in. He has spent several weeks and obviously has been very patient. And that has led us to where we are today.

“So, as a company, we are happy. So, at this stage now, we’ll go back and go through our own internal processes to ensure that we provide as much support as we can to the government.

“In his assurances on behalf of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the project manager stated, “We will not lean back, and we’ll continue and expedite the re-mobilization of this project to ensure our full commitment. And as you rightly have said, Honourable Minister, we as partners in progress must have all hands on deck.”

The Julius Berger project manager however assured full commitment to meeting the project’s deadline.

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