…As Consultant Accuses ULO for Personalizing Asaba Airport Project.
By Michael Odiah
The Chairman, House Committee on Works in the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Evance Ochuko Ivwurie has faulted DEUX Company for failing to properly execute the DLA Road, Ezenei Avenue and Federal College Road in the State Capital and the Dualization of Effurun/Osubi Road in the Delta Central District of the State, noting that DLA Road which used to be one of the worst roads on the state, still maintains that position till date even after being awarded for construction to DEUX.
Hon. Ivwurie made these revelations during the on going investigation by the House Committee on Works on the various road contracts awarded to DEUX, adding that the investigation is not to witch hunt anybody, but to ensure that Deltans get the very best from their common wealth and also to checkmate the roles of the Ministry of Works as concerns these projects.
Responding to these claims, the Project Director and Co-owner of DEUX Company, Dr Walter Olatunde said that his company has not abandoned or poorly executed any project, but in the case of Effurun/Osubi Road, having done the bridge, only moved their equipment to Asaba as elections were at its peak coupled with other constraints such as subsidy removal and difficulty in getting an upward review.
He added that the contract was awarded on the 29th of December 2010, the company mobilized to site in 2011, but was unable to go back to site after they physically resumed site in 2014 due to pending unaddressed issues encapsulating; change of rates, inadequate quantities and others which would have led to huge loss of money if they went back to site, taking cognizance of other contractors who only went back to site after been given review rates which they could not access.
Dr. Olatunde further said that they left DLA road in 2014, having done 98% of drainage, 54% binding course, 38% wearing course, but deteriorated due to 3 years of raining season that left the two layers of asphalt, stone base and drainage walkways which was supposed to last for a minimum of ten years fully submerged under water coupled with constant vehicular movements. He noted that DLA was the worst road in Asaba, coupled with the tough rainfall terrain evident in the State and a major constraint of linking the drainage to a discharge point at Jesus Saves Road which was completely outside of their contract scope.
Meanwhile, the State Consultant on the Asaba Airport Project Engr. Akere Kola of JBI TECH Consults Limited has said that ULO Consultant Limited ought not to have been given the project in the first place, as the contractor was incompetent for the job, adding that the contract was not executed according to the standard of design and that the workmanship was very poor.
Engr. Kola further said that ULO was advised to stick to the National Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) design, but still went ahead to do his design, at his own cost for a slight difference in volume of asphalt, adding that the contractor stopped work in June 2017 with initial duration of three months, but only achieved 24.9% after 29 months.