Calabar-Odukpani-Itu Road: C/River South Consultative Forum Urges Termination of Contract with JB

0
31
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Press Release

For Immediate Release – 10th March 2024

The Cross River South Consultative Forum (CRSCF) expresses deep concern over the stalled construction of the Calabar-Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene federal highway, urging the Federal Government of Nigeria to terminate its contract with Julius Berger due to the construction company’s abandonment of the project.

As at 2019, the National Assembly through its House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Works and Abandoned Projects, discovered that out of the proposed 87km road, only 21.9km was awarded for construction at a staggering sum of N54 billion. Further investigations revealed that the contract, awarded on April 24, 2018, was supposed to last for 30 months, but, unverified report has it that JB abandoned site because their bloated request for variation was turned down.

The breakdown of the awarded and not awarded portions of the road indicates a significant lapse in project execution. The Cross River South Consultative Forum notes that Julius Berger has received at least N7.4 billion out of the N54.1 billion earmarked for the project, leaving them with N3.4 billion to execute the project, which is grossly inadequate. Less than 13% of the contract works and payment have been fulfilled.

It should be recalled that Sen. Ita Enang in 2021 disclosed that the road, designed for dualization in 1972, was awarded to Julius Berger at N54 billion. While a section from Mbak Itam to Oku Iboku Junction has been awarded to Julius Berger, the segment from the Power Plant to Odukpani Junction is still awarded to the construction company.

Despite the historical significance of the road and its vital role in the region’s transportation network and economic livelihood, the evident lack of progress raises serious concerns about the commitment of Julius Berger to the project.

The Cross River South Consultative Forum calls on the Federal Government to take decisive action by terminating the contract with Julius Berger and exploring alternative means to ensure the swift completion of the Calabar-Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road. The forum emphasizes the urgency of addressing this matter to alleviate the suffering of the road users and restore the region’s critical infrastructure especially as the 2024 wet season sets in.

 

 

Signed

Hon. Eyo Nsa Ekpo Esq.,

Hon. Joseph E. Etene Esq.,

Prof. Emmanuel Eyo Esq,

Hon. Victor Okon,

Sir Maurice Effiwatt,

Hon. Ada Charles Egwu,

Rev’d. James Anam, and

Hon. Ani Esin.