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FG Slams Construction Company, RCC, For Failing To Complete 1km of 15km East-West Road Despite N40 billion Funding

THE Federal Government has criticized Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) for failing to complete even 1km of the 15km East-West Road section from Eleme Junction to Onne Port Junction in Rivers State, despite receiving over N40 billion in mobilization funds.

This announcement was made by the Federal Minister of Works, David Umahi, during his inspection tour of road projects that are ongoing in the South-South zone on Wednesday, as contained in a statement on the Ministry’s website.

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“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 kilometre has been completed,” Umahi was quoted as saying.

The statement indicated that the contractor’s delay was attributed to the ongoing importation of necessary machinery, an excuse deemed unacceptable by the Federal Government.

Additionally, Umahi stressed that no requests for price variation from the contractor would be entertained, as the project does not warrant any price adjustments.

The Minister of Works issued a seven-day ultimatum to RCC, warning that failure to remobilize would result in the termination of their contract.

He expressed his concern for the hardships faced by road users and emphasized the Federal Government’s commitment to securing interim funds for road maintenance until the company resumes work on the site.

In recent times, several road construction projects undertaken by the Federal Government across the country have been abandoned by the contractors responsible for them.

The primary reason cited for these abandonments is the contractors’ requests for price variations, arguing that the agreed sums are insufficient to complete the projects due to factors such as inflation and the cost of importing machinery

Examples of recently abandoned road construction projects include the Bodo-Bonny road project being handled by Julius Berger, the Lokoja-Benin and Obajana Junction-Benin road projects in Kogi and Edo States, and the 15 km section of East-West Road from Eleme Junction to Onne Port Junction in Rivers State.

In response to these abandonments, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Works, has issued ultimatum notices to contractors, demanding they return to the construction sites or sign revised contracts.

However, despite these sanctions, the government has had to make compromises to ensure project continuation.

For instance, the Federal Government recently approved an additional N280 billion for Julius Berger Nigeria PLC., to complete the Bodo-Bonny road project, despite initially deciding against agreeing to any price variations requested by the contractor.

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