SERMATECH Project Controversy Deepens Amid Accusations and Counterclaims

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AbujaThe controversy surrounding SERMATECH Nigeria Ltd and its handling of federal highway projects in Cross River state has taken a new turn, with both accusations and counterclaims heightening tensions NEGROIDHAVEN can report.

In a tripartite meeting held in Abuja on December 20, 2023, the Honourable Minister of Works, Senator Dave Nweze Umahi, facilitated discussions involving officials from the Federal Ministry of Works, the Cross River Consultative Forum, and representatives from SERMATECH. The meeting aimed to address concerns raised by the Cross River South Consultative Forum regarding the quality of work done by Sermatech on the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot and Calabar-Ikom-Ugep highways.

After the meeting, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, who attended as an observer, expressed strong condemnation of what he termed the “shamelessness” of SERMATECH. He accused the company of launching a campaign involving propaganda, blackmail, calumny, and lies against the leadership of the Cross River South Consultative Forum. Obono-Obla insisted that Sermatech should focus on addressing its alleged incompetence instead of attempting to smear those who exposed its shortcomings.

The accusations against SERMATECH include claims of subpar work and failure to fulfill promises made during the execution of projects in Cross River state. Obono-Obla, in his statement, warned that the people of Cross River are not easily swayed by media tactics and urged the company to rectify its failures.

In response to these accusations, Sermatech defended its position during the meeting. The company asserted that it had completed asphalt work on 10 kilometers of the highway with two bridges, stating that it was awarded four out of the five bridges. Sermatech pledged to complete an additional 10 kilometers of the road by March 2024 and assured the minister that all work would be completed within the stipulated contract period.

The Honourable Minister of Works, Senator Umahi, addressed the concerns raised by the Cross River South Consultative Forum and commended their vigilance. He highlighted the importance of due process and cautioned against premature termination of contracts without proper documentation. Senator Umahi directed the formation of a tripartite inspection team, including members of the Forum, Federal Ministry of Works officials, and SERMATECH representatives. This team will assess the work done by Sermatech and report back for further action.

The situation continues to unfold, raising questions about the dynamics between contractors, communities, and government bodies in the execution of federal projects.