I am sincerely enthused and honestly ready to embrace any genuine developmental intervention by Dr. Alex Otti’s government, let me congratulate him for keeping to his campaign promises of bringing Julius Berger construction company into the state.
While restating my total support for the reconstruction of Portharcourt road because of its strategic and economic importance, I must confess that it will be against the interest of the state to use such a staggering sum of 30 billion Naira to construct a 5.9km road as being touted in the media space when other reputable construction firms like CCEC and RCC can achieve the same quality and job standard with 450 million Naira per kilometer
Since there has been no official clarification from any government quarters as regards the actual amount and contractual agreement between the state and Julius Berger.
It has become very important that Abians are clarified officially by the government on the contractual details between the state and Julius Berger to avoid further speculation, In the event, that the government refuses as it has become the culture of the Otti administration it remains safe to assume that the information available in the media space is credible since the Otti administration has adopted a policy of secrecy in its financial dealings.
Our experience from other road and house repainting contracts reveals that the Otti administration is not interested in transparency and due process and will never let Abians into the exact details of this controversial Julius Berger deal.
It is also important to note that available records from Rivers State indicate that Julius Berger takes about 750 million naira per Kilometer of road and interestingly Portharcourt and Aba share similarities in topography. With the current devaluation of Naira and attendant increase in price of materials, we expect that Julius Berger will be charging N1b per kilometer.
No matter how measured a criticism is, your government will rather deploy and pay sycophants, and political boot-lickers who think that raining abuses on those who hold the Otti administration to account is the only ticket to Gov. Otti’s government even when 95% of them are secretly nursing the pains of neglect, frustration, hunger and suffering, the Otti administration has inflicted on them.
Abians must keep asking critical questions and will continue to demand answers in line with the dictates of democratic governance.
An investigation has revealed that only Governor Otti and his closest allies are aware of the contractual agreements that brought in the construction firm Julius Berger. there are convincing to shows that the deal has been sealed even before the election and that accounts for why they were paraded before the swearing in of the Governor.
There also indications that the Abia State House of Assembly and other appropriate organs of government saddled with the responsibility of ensuring transparency in government businesses have little or no knowledge of the details of the contract as required by law.
While we appreciate every effort being made to complete the reconstruction of PortHarcourt road which was started by the Ikpeazu administration Abians will like to have answers to some of these posers.
1) How did the government arrive at the cost of 30 billion naira?
2) What is the scope of the project and where are the engineering designs that culminated in the contract sum?
3) Was there any due diligence before the cost was arrived at and approved?
4) Who are the consultants and when did they carry out the survey of the proposed site?
5) Where is the bill of quantity?
6) When did the relevant office advertise for tender?
7) Why the manifest conflict of interest and lack of transparency and due process in your government?
What is the fixation about Julius Berger?
Is it not correct to assume that it was all about the business relationship that exists between the current highest shareholder of Julius Berger in Nigeria who incidentally is also a director with new Signature Bank which Dr. Alex Otti has openly acknowledged his involvement?
We don’t want to believe that this particular road is being used to service old stakes in relationship especially as there was no due process in arriving at the choice of Julius Berger even before being sworn in as a Governor of the State .
We advice that Alex Oti should stop running Abia finances as his personal business
Till date there is no offical communication from the State government on the cost of the 3km Ossiah/Okpara Square contract in Umuahia
How can we hold a government accountable if they decide to hide basic information from the general public .
While I pray, for it not to be true, the insinuations by many that the sudden movement of Julius Berger is only but a face-saving measure by Governor Otti and not that work is taking off any time soon, I have also engaged some construction engineers who confirmed that unless Julius Berger wants to use the existing designs done by HARTLAND SETRACO an A-list construction company which the state government under Dr. Ikpeazu awarded the job in 2017 at the cost of #9,882,752,246.4 (Nine Billion, Eight hundred and Eighty-Two Million, Seven Hundred and fifty-Two Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty Six Naira Fourty Kobo) only, with a total length of 5.9km and designed as a 6 Lane road.
It is also very important to note that the drainages on both ends have been constructed end to end and the drains connected to discharge into Umuagbai pond this means that the chunk of the job has been done by HARTLAND though I do not know the current status of the contract but I am aware that the state government is still owning HARTLAND SETRACO and it will be interesting to see the abracadabra that Otti will do in order to commence work on a road that has a subsisting contract with a reputable construction firm such as HARTLAND.
It has become clearer to Abians that Governor Otti has no agenda but has only continued to experiment in office five months after, my prayer is for God to deliver the Otti administration from secrecy and lack of transparency in their financial dealings.
This cannot be the foundation of the “New Abia” you promised.
Writes From Umuahia