RIVERS, Nigeria – The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, has said that the Federal Government will no longer accept road contract certificates for payment generated by one person.
He stated this during an inspection tour on some road projects within Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
“No longer will certificates for payment be generated by one person. Contractors must sign it, resident engineer as well, state controllers, regional controllers, and they will all ensure inspections are done. The State Commissioners of Works shall generate work done, prepare the certificate with calculations and geotechnical reports, sketches, and valuation, and then they will bring it to me. The moment I see that things are working, I will sign within six hours.
“I have directed that any project that motor users cannot go through the entire length and breadth of the project awarded to a contractor, I will not sign the certificate. Contractors must maintain all the roads, the length and breath within their contract. I am directing the controllers and Directors of the regions to ensure that between Abuja and Port Harcourt, they must fix the remedial works within the next 14 days,” he briefed the press.
Speaking further, the Minister queried why a payment certificate should be given for a road that has failed even when the contractor is still on site and you turn around to blame the leaders.
“Who signs the papers? You signed the paper and originated the certificate, but I have directed that enough is enough. They must show me how increase in our contracts come about. Anyone can sign a paper for them to pay, but as for me, I will not sign anything that I don’t know how it came about.
“If you want to do ashphalt, continue with it, but you must sign a performance bond that the road must not fail within the lifetime of the project. I want Nigerians to know that overloading is not responsible for the failure of the roads. Most of the contractors have jobs in more than ten locations with two equipment so they can not cope with the volume of jobs.”
The Minister had also directed that any contractor without COREN Certified Engineer must not be allowed to work.
Umahi said President Ahmed Bola Tinubu is determined to end the sufferings of the road users in Nigeria.
“Road is everything to this country. Road is everything to Commerce. Road is everything to Solid Mineral, Medicine, Education, Agriculture and to Food Security.”
Earlier, the Eleme Local Government Area Chairman, Hon. Obarilomate Ollo, said “I thank the Minister for coming to inspect this road on behalf of Mr President. This bad road has been responsible for the untimely death of so many people and thousands of vehicles ply this route daily. From what you have said, the youths will cooperate with you to deliver this project, and we will not make unnecessary requests.”
Some of the projects inspected by the Minister in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states included, Aba- Port Harcourt road, Bodo Bonny road, Ogoni bridge, reconstruction of Abak – Ekparakwa –Ette- Ikot Abasi road and the dualisation of the East West Road Section four at Eket By Pass.