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Julius Berger assures FG on Lagos-Sagamu road, 2nd Niger Bridge

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Motorists to pay for damaged road soon

Julius Berger Nigeria Plc at the weekend assured the Federal Government that the second Niger Bridge would be completed as scheduled.

The Managing Director, Dr. Lars Richter, also expressed optimism that the Abuja-Kano road and Lagos-Sagamu expressway projects would be completed as contracted to his firm.

Richter, who stated that the three top priority projects of the Federal Government were duly awarded to Julius Berger, said that requisite human and technical resources, even new technologies, had been mobilised to complete the jobs as scheduled.

The Julius Berger boss spoke when he appeared before the Abubakar Kabir Abubakar-led House of Representatives Committee on Works probing the alleged slow pace of work on the projects.

Richter said the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) duly issued Letters of No Objection for the projects as required by extant procurement law, denying claims that his outfit did not get the contracts through due process.

According to Richter, his firm lawfully bidding for the projects, after which the rest of the contract award process remained the statutory work and responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Works to handle.

“We reasonably bid for projects, but we are not by law part of the official procurement process that is the statutory duty of the ministry.

“It is the Ministry of Works that receives a Letter of No Objection to any contract, not our company. BPP itself vets the rates contractors submit to the ministry, and the ministry again takes the rates vetted by the BPP to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval by the President-in-Council.

Julius Berger is not at all entitled to a say in the process apart from the submission of our bid for a project with the ministry.”

Meanwhile, to curb gridlock and wanton destruction of highway infrastructure by reckless motorists, the Federal Government may soon commence strict enforcement of the Highway Act.

Defaulting motorists, who caused structural damage on highway infrastructure are to pay for the repairs or go to prison under the law.

Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mr. Kayode Popoola, who disclosed this to The Guardian, said the law had to be enforced to make defaulters to pay for repairs of damaged road.

This move followed series of destruction of sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway undergoing reconstruction by petrol tankers and other articulated vehicles that fell on the road. Some of the fallen vehicles caught fire and destroyed bridges and asphalts on the road.

It was learnt that Section 20 of the Highway Act compels motorists to pay for damages caused on the roads.


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