Exclusive: N20 Billion Debt To Contractors Dim Hope Of Completion Of East-West Road

Exclusive: N20 Billion Debt To Contractors Dim Hope Of Completion Of East-West Road
February 07 17:40 2017 Print This Article

The completion of the 362-kilometre East-West road in 2017 may have been dashed as the Federal Government again failed to make budgetary provision for the payment of outstanding debt of N20 billion to contractors working on the project.

The Federal Government in the 2017 budget proposal only provided a paltry sum of N6.55 billion for the East-West road project, a far cry from the over N400 billion required to complete sections 1-5 of the project.

Our correspondent’s investigations revealed that as at today, the Federal Government is owing N20 billion out-standing certificate of payments to Setraco; RCC; and Gitto, the three companies handling the project.

The companies our correspondent gathered have said that they would not be able to mobilise go to sight if the out-standing payments were not paid.

Our correspondent’s investigations revealed that as at today, sections 1-4 of the East-West road requires about N200 billion while section five requires about N270 billion for its completion.

In the 2017 fiscal proposal the five phases of the Esat-West road project covering Oron in Akwa Ibom State to Calabar in Cross River showed that the Sections 2 (2-2) Ahoada-Kaiama was allocated N2.2bn; Section III, Port Harcourt-Eket 1, N800million;  Section 1, Warri-Kaiama, N700.668m;  Section IV, Eket-Oron, N700m; and the newly-added Section V, Oron-Calabar, N150m, respectively.

The East-West Road, which is one of the key project in the Niger Delta Ministry, has been put on the back burner by successive government, a top politician from the Niger Delta declared.

The politician who spoke to our correspondent, on the condition of anonymity expressed sadness that the completion of the project maybe a pipe dream considering the “lack lustre approach of the present administration”.

“This project is long over due for completion and it is very sad that successive government have been playing politics with the project and the Buhari government is even the worst culprit despite the claim of working for the interests of the Niger Delta people. The way this government is going, nothing will be achieved on that road project and governments of the region may have to put heads together to complete the project. The Federal government is not prepared to complete the road project,” the source said.

The 675km dual-carriageway, which was initiated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006, was meant to open up the entire Niger Delta states, linking them one to another as well as with the industrialized South-West region of Nigeria but it has rather turned to a death trap due to the bad nature of the road.

 

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