By Muhammad Nur Tijani
Kano – The House of Representatives has expressed worry over the slow pace of work on the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano roads projects awarded by the Federal Government in 2018.
The Chairman, House Committee on Works, Hon. Kabir Abubakar Bichi , made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje on Friday in Kano.
The chairman said they were in Kano as part of their oversight function to inspect and assess federal projects being executed in the state.
Bichi said the committee was dissatisfied over the delay in the execution of the project by the Contractor, Julius Berger PLC.
The lawmaker said the committee might be forced to ask the government to re-award the 400 km contract to several other contractors to ensure that the project was completed within the stipulated time.
“Despite collecting N70billion out of the N155 billon total sum of the contract, Berger is still yet to do substantial work on the projects and the contract tenure is 36 months and the company spent 26 months on the project and they have only 9 months remaining.
“In phase one of the project, from Zuba to Kaduna, unfortunately, only 10 km has been executed out of the 165 km while from Kaduna to Zaria only five to six km completed out of the 75 km, then from Zaria to Kano only 11km executed,” he explained.
He said that “the House will not accept any extension of the completion date or a variation of the project.
According to him “as a result of the delay in completing the project, several lives have been lost on the road, and we cannot continue to lose lives on this road.”
Bichi said with the slow pace of work, it would be impossible for President Muhammadu Buhari to commission the projects during his tenure.
The chairman of the committee also lamented the slow pace of work in Kano-Maiduguri road and Kano western by-pass project awarded over 10 years ago.
Earlier, Ganduje stressed the importance of oversight function of the committee, saying that without their supervisory role their will be conflict between the ministry of works and contractors.
He also said that supervisory function of lawmakers would check the prevalence of neglected and abandoned contract across the country.
The governor commended Buhari for committing huge sum of money on infrastructural development in the country.