Edo Assembly seeks revocation of Benin/Auchi road rehabilitation contract

Edo pix

Adjoto

Adjoto

Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Members of the Edo State House of Assembly on Wednesday embarked on a protest-inspection of the notorious Benin/Auchi highway.

PM News reports that several sections of the highway have been completely cut off, with long queues of articulated trucks trapped, while the drivers and their assistants resulting to self-help.

Speaking at Ekpoma, the administrative headquarters of Esan West local government area, Speaker of the House, Kabiru Adjoto, who led the members on the protest, called for the revocation of the contracts for the dualisation of the road.

Adjoto who described the road as worse than a farm road, decried the sorry State of the road and the low pace of work by the contractors handling the construction.

He noted that the deplorable state of the road has hampered socio-economic development of the people of the State as well as Nigerians plying the road.

He also called for the reviewed of the contract to the construction firms by the Federal Government.

“It is our views as an Assembly that the contract awarded to Dantata and Sawoe, Mother Cat and Reynolds construction company (RCC) should be revoked.

“Honourable Raji Fashola is a man that we respect very much. He is doing wonderfully so well as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but this Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi-Okpella road, there is need to revisit the performance of the  contractors. They are not competent

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“We are dissatisfied with the federal controller of works and we have resolved that the contractors can no longer deceived us.

“The present condition of the road is unacceptable to residents in the State who now travel through Ondo or Delta States to get to their destination. The protest on the road is to show solidarity and share in the pains experienced by travelers and motorists.

“Our oversight functions have doubled. We are now together as a team. It is unacceptable for Edo residents to travel through Ondo State when coming from Edo North. We are not satisfied with the pace of work and quality of jobs done. We are moving through that road. We know Edo people are suffering,” Adjoto said.

The Speaker who noted that the road was awarded to four contractors with a view to complete the project in 36 months, explained that the level of works done by the contracting firms are far below the huge funds released to them  by the federal government noting that the people of the state and the assembly members are not satisfied with the pace of works some by the companies.

Responding the Principal Resident Engineer in charge of the Ekpoma axis, Ishaku Mamri, said he was not in the best position to tell the lawmakers the alleged delay on the work.

He said Dantata and Sawoe construction firm was mobilized to the Ekpoma axis of the road for palliative works to address the traffic challenges on the road.

Also speaking, the Project Site Supervisor for the firm, Suleiman Nasiru, said the initial contract awarded to the firm was from Agbede in Etsako West local government to Ewu hill in Esan Central local government, adding that the Ekpoma axis was recently awarded to the company to address the perennial traffic challenges in the area.

The House, however, summoned the contracting firms and the Federal Controller of Works, Edo State to appear before it unfailingly next week Monday at a Committee-of-Whole, to explain the delay in the rehabilitation of the road.