HomeNewsBonny-Bodo road: FG offers additional N20bn, targets December deadline

Bonny-Bodo road: FG offers additional N20bn, targets December deadline

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The Federal Government has agreed to offer additional N20.5 billion for the completion of the Bonny-Bodo road project in December.

The government, however, said if the construction company, Julius Berger, was not ready to accept the offer, the contract will be terminated.

Minister of Works, David Umahi, said this during a meeting with the Managing Director of Julius Berger, Lars Ritcher and members of Bodo-Bonny Road Peace Committee, on Wednesday in Abuja.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Julius Berger had requested asking for a N28 billion variation on the 82 per cent completed project.

The company hinged its request on the rise in exchange rate, construction materials, and diesel among others.

Umahi, however, said the government was willing to provide N20 billion out of the N28 billion that Julius Berger requested for.

According to him, the Bonny-Bodo road contract which was initially awarded at the cost of N120 billion in 2015, was later varied at N199 billion with a completion dateline of December 2023, which has since elapsed.

NAN recalls that in 2017, an agreement between the Federal Government, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and Julus Berger on modalities for funding the project cost of N199.923 billion, without any further increase.

“If  you do not accept the Federal Government’s offer by Friday and resume work on the site, the previously expired 14-day ultimatum for termination of project will be enforced.

“I want to let you know that we are the client. No contractor will dictate for this ministry, and there is no job that is compulsory that a particular contractor must do.

“We give you an offer. If you do not like the offer, you walk away. You don’t force us or we don’t force you.

“Agreement of contractual relationship is a mutual understanding,’’ the minister said.

Umahi said that had Julius Berger adhered to the project timetable, the project would have been completed on schedule before the impact of foreign exchange.

“Our position is very simple, we reject the conditions of Julius Berger totally and we ask Berger to please go back to the site to complete the project based on our offer.

“Our offer is unconditional and we say, accept or reject, so you cannot subject our offer to your conditions ,’’ he added

Umahi said the company should be humble in its dealings and exhibit solidarity during challenges.

Earlier, Richter had explained that the company suspended work on the site to seek some clarifications from the ministry .

According to him, the company asked for the augmemtation of N28 bilion because as at the time the contract was awarded the exchange rate was N305 to a dollar and diesel was N350 eor litre.

“We will still require some outstanding materials; that means that the initial agreement can’t fly because the variation of project  is not sufficient and the exchange rate is also not in our favour to compensate the additional costs.

“That is why we decided to go back to our original proposal of the augmentation. Augmentation is a very normal process for all contracts,” the managing director said.

Chief Abel Attoni, Palace Secretary, Bonny Kingdom, expressed gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu over the decision to complete the Bodo-Bonny road project.

Attonu urged the parties to be patriotic and  make the necessary sacrifice for the actualisation of the project.

NAN

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