The foremost nonpartisan advocacy group, Isoko Monitoring Group, IMG, has raised the alarm over the poorly executed N1.5 billion road project at Ikpide-Irri riverine community, Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, by a Lagos state based marine company, Portplus Nigeria limited.
To address the failure and refusal of the company to maintain standards and quality in the construction of the road, the group petitioned the Delta State Government to take appropriate action against the contractor who is an indigene of the community.
The petition, entitled, “Ikpide-Irri Internal Road: The Need To Properly Monitor The Contractor and Stop The Ongoing Shoddy Job” and addressed to the state government through the office of the Special Adviser to the governor on project monitoring and evaluation, lamented the refusal of the contractor to adhere strictly to standards and quality.
The group demanded in the petition, signed by the groups’ spokesman, Dr Kingsley Oroh, that Portplus firm should be stopped immediately or else the efforts and resources of the state government would be a waste.
The statement partly reads, “We have been able to establish before now that the contractor, Portplus Limited, that is handling the project has done jobs which fell below the generally accepted standard and that of the Bill of Quantity (BOQ) of the project. The contractor needs to be cautioned and made to follow the BOQ of the project to avoid giving the Delta State Government a very bad image.
“We want to believe that your office as the Special Adviser is designed to unearth projects that are being executed poorly across the state and hold such erring contractors accountable to avoid deliberate attempts to discredit the government of the day and paint it in bad light before the general public.
“While we are happy that the second approved drainage system is now being constructed, we want to state categorically that the job being done is way below average and needs to be discontinued.”
Following IMG’s petition, the state government on Thursday paid an unscheduled visit to the site and expressed disappointment. It declared the multi-billion naira road project by Portplus firm as nothing but substandard.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had in 2017 awarded the first phase of the contract to Portplus at N736,404,555.60, and in 2019, it was reviewed upward to over a billion naira.
The elder brother of the contractor and President-General of the community, Michael Omojefe, alleged that the contract was a ‘kola nut contract’ given by the governor as appreciation to his younger brother for contributing to the governor’s electoral victory in 2015.
Speaking during the unscheduled visit, Special Adviser to the state governor on Project Implementation, Evaluation and Monitoring, Johnson Erijo, in the company of a team of engineers and government officials, frowned on the low quality of job by Portplus firm, describing it as unfortunate and wastage of state government resources.
Erijo condemned in its entirety the job done so far by the firm, adding that what is on the ground cannot stand the test of time.
He said, “This is unacceptable, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa will not accept this poor quality. The governor is unhappy with the huge resources he has put so far into this project. Just recently, the contract gained upward review and there is nothing on the ground to show good quality of job and value for money. The government must get value for funds released for projects.”
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