Senate frowns at slow pace of work on Karshi-Ara-Apo Road, summons contractor


The Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has frowned at the slow pace of work on the Karshi-Ara-Apo Road which was awarded in 2011 to an indigenous company, Katar Civil Engineering Limited.


Chairman of the committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi expressed dissatisfaction when he led members of the committee on an oversight visit to some road projects across the territory.


Also on the visit was the Minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello and that of State for the FCT, Mrs Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu.


Expressing his dissatisfaction, Senator Adeyemi said “You have betrayed the confidence of the funding. It is just inexplicable.


“I came here in 2013 you gave us the same promise. When an indigenous company decides to betray the trust, you will justify why indigenous companies should not be patronised.”


He said the delay was going to cost the country more than it should have expended on the road.


“If I were the Minister, I will revoke this job. I will ask them to refund to government. If you can’t do the job why did you take the job? Why did you bid for it?


“We don’t have to pretend to ourselves and pretend to speak the truth. A job that was awarded in 2011 and up till now you are still where you are.


“You have been provided with the funding. You have no excuse. If you have been provided enough funding and you are finding it difficult to recover the money paid to you. You are a disappointment to the indigenous company. You have failed the nation”.


Adeyemi further invited the contractor to appear before the committee on Thursday.


He, however, said the oversight was aimed at assessing the level of ongoing projects in the territory.


“We will be passing two budgets before the end of the year. Putting them together will be over N1 trillion.


“It makes sense for us to see the state of development so that by the time we are looking at the budget we have in mind those projects that are vital that will enhance economic growth and infrastructure development of the FCT and the security of the territory.”


On her part, the Minister of State for the FCT, Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu said practically, the job was very slow.


“And so long as it continues at that pace, it will always call for variation. And provided we keep doing that, the question is when will it be put to use?


“So it has to do with the capacity of the contractor as well. I urge the Senate to also invite him for dialogue.


“We have paid more than enough to have much more than we are seeing on ground.


“You doing too slowly and with the economic situation, we can’t afford that.


“Time is of the essence. I hope you know democracy and power are transient. We have a few months to go.


“You will give your words to the national assembly. What else do you require to complete this job within a short time frame even if it means you adding more to your capacity by bringing in some other people.


“We are not asking for another lie of time. But you will come to the national assembly to discuss,” she said.


Managing Director of the company, Mr. Robert Arzibola said the Karshi-Ara axis is located towards the South-Eastern part of the Federal Capital City (FCC).


“It is the access road between Karshi Satellite Town and Ara Settlement in Nasarawa State while Karshi-Apo axis of the road is located within the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).


Arzibola who was represented by the Engineer, Mr. Ezekiel Panan said no administration had funded the project the way the present administration has done.


“We are very grateful. However, part of the delay was funding. But when the present Minister assumed office, all our liabilities you settled them.”


He also said the high prices of materials had been a challenge which has hindered the progress of the project.


Other sites visited were the Wasa affordable Housing Site in AMAC, Wasa Resettlement Site and Karshi Treatment Plant.

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