FCT MINISTER MOBILISES CONTRACTORS BACK TO SITE
By Elizabeth Henrywilson
….AS ROAD RESURFACING PROJECTS BEGIN IN GARKI AND WUSE DISTRICTS
…Millennium Tower to be given priority as a Legacy Project
…Environmental Sanitation Days to begin
1. The Federal Capital Territory Administration will mobilize contractors back to site to resume work on the various ongoing and abandoned projects in the FCT, even as road resurfacing projects are set to commence in the Garki and Wuse Districts of the nation’s capital.
2. Minister of the FCT, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who made this disclosure in Abuja on Monday, August 28, 2023 when he met heads of over 15 construction companies working on various projects in the FCT, assured that the necessary funding will be made available for them to return to site and complete the projects.
3. Addressing the contractors at the start of the meeting, the FCT Minister who declared that Abuja is now a construction site, disclosed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has given him marching orders to ensure that the Abuja Metro line is completed and put to use, adding that ongoing road projects in the FCT would also be completed to improve the road network in the nation’s capital.
4. As a show of its determination, the FCT Minister said that the Administration will restructure how projects are funded by tying specific projects to internally generated revenue (IGR) sources as against relying solely on federal allocations.
5. The Minister also hinted at increased allocation from the federal government to improve funding for projects in the FCT.
6. Barrister Wike therefore assured that the FCT Administration will not owe any contractor as each project will be tied to specific funds, warning that contractors must deliver the projects within agreed time frames without failure.
7. In his words “Now the time has come for action. First of all, on the metro line, those of you who heard what Mr. President said yesterday (at the NBA Annual General Convention), he did give a marching order that he wants to ride on the metro line and so it’s a key project that we must achieve.
8. “We are going to restructure how we fund you so that you go back to site and do work. I don’t want to hear that this happened and this didn’t happen. Ordinarily, I would have gone back to look at performance or no performance, but I feel there is no need to go back. Let’s move forward and see what we can achieve.”
9. “I have agreed with the Hon. Minister of State and I have told the management that we must restructure the way projects are funded. We must not fund projects depending only on the national budget. We must also fund projects through our direct internally generated revenue. I will not be a party to give out contract and then there is no money to fund.”
10.“We are going to fund you, give you your money to go to site then you will tell us the time within which the project will be finished because I’m going to attach funds to it. If we agree on three months, it’s three months. If I give six months, it’s six months. I hear no excuses at all because I know that we are not going to owe. Yes, we are not going to owe.”
11.Barrister Wike also warned that the FCTA will not tolerate any work that is below standard, stressing, that all the ongoing projects will be directly supervised by his office and the office of the Minister of State to ensure compliance.
12.He said, “We are determined to make sure every contractor goes back to site, not just going back to site but with direct supervision from my office and office of the Minister of State.”
13. “The major problem we are having in this country is the lack of supervision. We are not going to tolerate anything below standard. If there are people you are working with who have been compromising standard, too bad. It’s not with me. I’m not going to accept anything that is below standard.
14.While addressing the press after the meeting with the contractors on Monday evening, the Minister disclosed that the Millennium Tower and Cultural Center will be given priority attention disclosing that it will be one of the legacy projects of Mr President.
15.In the words of the Minister “ I can tell you that it is not going to be easy going into that project, but I can equally tell you that we have decided that for whatever it takes, it is going to be one of the legacy projects for Mr President to complete in the next few years. Certainly, we are looking at the next two years, if the way we are going structure our payment is agreeable with the contractors”.
16.The Minister also disclosed that the resurfacing of major roads in Garki, Wuse Maitama and Asokoro will begin in earnest as the contractors will be mobilized to site immediately.
17.On the rehabilitation of the Abuja Metro line, the Minister said that the contractors will over the coming days be paid so that they can mobilise back to site while also holding discussions on the operational cost of the project.
18.The Minister, further lamented the poor funding of projects in the nation’s capital and reiterated his resolve to tie internally generated revenues to specific projects to be completed within specific time frames.p
19.While admitting that there has been improvements in the functionality of street lights in the city, he admitted that more work will still need to be done in this regard.
20.On city sanitation the Minister revealed that there are plans to dedicate two Saturdays in a month as environmental sanitation days to allow residents to clean up their environment saying that “Abuja must be clean” and called for the cooperation of all residents in this regard.
21.He said “ in fact, I was able to brief Mr President that we are coming up with an idea that at least two Saturdays in a month, we will declare sanitation, say from 7 am to 10am where we will get companies that will give us logistics to clear up the refuse”
22.He also spoke about plans to revive the public transportation sector of the FCT with the re-introduction of the AUMTCO buses and once again decried the presence of several undeveloped plots of land and uncompleted structures that become hideouts for criminals.
23.Also present at the meeting were the Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmad, the Director Treasury, Mr Zanna Hamza and senior officials of the FCTA as well as heads of the various construction companies working in the FCT.
(OFFICE OF THE FCT MINISTER)
1. FCT Minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike (right) with a cross Section of heads of Construction companies during his meeting with major contractors in Abuja on Monday, 28/08/2023
2. L-R: FCT Minister, Barrister Nyesom Wike, Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola and Executive Secretary, FCDA, Engr Shehu Hadi have Ahmed, during the meeting with major contractors in Abuja on Monday, 28/08/2023