Home News FG Suspends Reconstruction on Eleme-Onne East-West Road After Paying N33bn to Contractors

FG Suspends Reconstruction on Eleme-Onne East-West Road After Paying N33bn to Contractors

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has refuted allegations linking the ongoing rehabilitation of the Eleme section of the East-West Road in Rivers State to the tragic incident that claimed five lives last Friday.

The Federal Government has directed the immediate suspension of reconstruction activities at the Eleme-Onne section of the East-West Road in Rivers State. This decision, announced by the Minister of Works, David Umahi, during a press briefing in Port Harcourt on Sunday, stems from concerns about the use of substandard materials by the project contractor.

Voicing concern about the impending rainy season which could cause hardship for the locals, Umahi stated that “the project must benefit the people”.

Expressing disappointment in the slow progress of the project, the minister highlighted that even with a five-year timeframe, completion would be unattainable at the current pace. He also emphasized the need to halt the work due to the contractor’s use of inferior materials, despite the government’s advance payment of N33 billion to prevent any malpractices.

He said: “You have our N33bn. Do you know what the interest rate is every month on the bill? The President had to order me in September to come here and order the payment because some Rivers State people went to see the President and we paid you N33bn, since that time till now.

“I saw that the sand they are using is not river sharp. What we paid for is river sharp sand. “I’m not satisfied. The idea is that when you place the lumps, the lump is good. But when you place the river’s sharp sand there are some voids between the lumps. And so, the sand will go and fill it and it becomes a compact monolithic pavement structure. When I saw that sand, I wasn’t happy.”

Umahi concluded by announcing plans for a meeting with the contractor to address the identified issues, and following a thorough examination of the anomalies, a new timeline would be established to ensure the project’s successful completion.

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