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Reps allege inflation of Abuja-Kaduna -Kano road contract by over N60b 

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The House of Representatives Committee on Works has alleged that the contract for the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano dual carriage way was inflated by over N60b.

The committee, led by Mr. Abubakar Kabir Abubakar, said the contract awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria at the cost of N155b with a completion period of 36 weeks was over priced.

The committee, which conducted an on the spot assessment of the project argued that as at the time the contract was awarded, there were other companies that put up bids for about N90b for the 375 kilometre road project.

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However, officials of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing disagreed with the legislators over the unit cost of constructing road.

Abubakar expressed concern that it was unfortunate that there is no commensurate work done compared to the monies paid to the construction giant so far. He claimed that the construction firm is yet to accomplish more than 20 per cent of the total work after collecting about N70b from the Federal Government. 

“You are not talking to novice. You are talking to professionals. The unit cost per kilometre for this project is about N450m. We are not dumb. The cost is too high. Julius Berger says they signed for rehabilitation and now they are doing reconstruction. But even at that, the cost is far above the cost of a virgin road anywhere in the world.

“We have to protect the interest of Nigerians because this is our country. We don’t have any other country to call our own. We don’t want anybody to send a memo to the President later regarding to funding for this project. What we are saying is that the cost for this project is too high. We know of some companies that quoted N90b for this project, but we don’t want to mention names. We have several petitions regarding this project in the House. The cost was initially N159b before it was scaled down to N155b. There is nine months left on the contract and we must emphasise that it must be delivered on schedule…”

The Zonal Director in charge of North West, Ministry of Works said the road under construction was the first of its kind in the north, comparable to the Lagos-Ibadan road and designed to last for 30 years.

Representatives of Julius Berger, Mark Jefferson assured the committee that the work will be delivered on schedule, be it was quick to add that the only problem that may delay the project will be the issue of compensation and relocation, which is being handled by the Ministry.

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