By Michael Odiah
The Delta State Commissioner for Works, Hon James Augoye has revealed that the six projects awarded to ULO Consultant Limited has been formerly liquidated as concerns the Asaba Airport Project which includes runway and taxi way, obstacle free zone, installation of transformers amongst others adding that the information has been related to the contractor and is not permitted to return to site without due clarification from the ministry.
Hon Augoye made these revelations Wednesday, December 6, 2017 in Asaba before the State Assembly House Committee on Works adding that the ministry will likely move by next week to site for physical measurements.
Meanwhile, the Works Commissioner said that the dualization of the Ughelli/Asaba sector C 46.26km road which was awarded also to ULO on the 24th of September 2008 and was to be completed by December 2016 was awarded at a cost of N14.6bn but upon two upward review, increased to N19.2 with N7.2bn already paid including advanced payments cum certificates earned, having been valued , work done was N4.6bn with an excess of N2.6bn which the contractor is to pay back to the state but still subject to final physical verification.
Hon Augoye further disclosed to the committee that the contractor demobilized from site in June 2014 based on personal reasons as he was duely paid, taking cognizance of the fact that several letters were written by the ministry to the contractor urging it to return to site but proved to be futile, as letters were received, acknowledged but never replied adding that the state made efforts to make him go back to site by going ahead to pay the sum of N566m on the 16th of September 2014 as second tranche advance payments after it vacated site just to help motivate the contractor back to site but again proved to be futile.
Augoye told the lawmakers that a total of 25% work has been done on the sector C Ughelli/Asaba road which is against the backdrop of the contractor’s claims of having done 35% on the site.
The house committee for works disputed this fact saying that they are not convinced that the contractor had even done 20% of work laying references to their inspection yesterday and further urged the ministry of works to do a reassessment on work done adding that all stakeholders cum counterparts of the project should be un-excusably absent on subsequent meetings which is to hold on Tuesday the 9th of January 2018.