From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Following the vandalism of the newly-constructed 2nd Niger Bridge by criminals, Federal Government has ordered security agencies to investigate the private security company engaged to guard the project.

To forestall further damage on the bridge, the government is installing CCTV cameras in the facility.

Minister of Works, Senator Nweze Dave Umahi disclosed this yesterday, in Abuja when he met with contractors handling various projects in the country.

According to him, the government is equally installing CCTV cameras on Third Mainland Bridge and Murtala Mohammed Bridge adding that all the lighting systems would be powered by solar

Addressing the contractors who have delayed delivering their projects, Nweze wondered why a contractor should be on the job for 18 years. He told them that the government would not accept a partial handover of projects. Rather than use delayed tactics as an opportunity to accumulate extra funds, he encouraged them to resign because if they refuse to do so, the government reserves the power to terminate the project.

“Being on a project for 18 years is unacceptable. We have devised a means to tackle the problem.

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“So, if we allow you to be on the road for 18 years, you have to maintain the road with your money. And if we default on any of the contracts obligations and we are not funding the project, you can demand for termination by mutual agreement. Yes, if we don’t have the money to fund you, and we have no concrete idea of when we will get money to fund you, instead of you staying on the site and counting interests for us it’s better you terminate yourself. It’s no use not working and the project is not moving and people are dying on the roads. So, if we don’t have money to pay you, and you are not prepared to wait, you can go for termination. But if you are staying, then you must maintain the project. It’s like a marriage. A marriage that is not working and there is no hope, must be dissolved” he advised.

The Minister said that the government undertook 330 projects on emergency basic at a cost of N260 billion and it has completed over 80 per cent of them.

To this effect, he directed his directors to commission all the projects.

“Directors should go round and commission them. Understand that we have a new situation. So, we have to adopt a new policy. We will offer to the contractors not them offering to us. We appeal to you to understand our situation. When we came on board we were presented with a certified contract of N1.5 trillion. A lot of you have no equipment and you use delayed tactics to slow down the job” he said.

Recall that the newly-completed bridge which was handed over to the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration in December last year was vandalised even in the presence of a private security guard employed to guard the facility.

This prompted the government to deploy a more formidable security architecture to forestall further havoc on the facilities. This is as a technical team was also directed to inspect, evaluate and reinstate the damaged parts of the superstructure.

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