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Orubebe: N113b required to complete East/West road

By The Rainbow
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It will require additional  N113 billion to  complete  the 338 kilometre East West Road, MINISTER of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, said on Thursday.

The contract which was awarded in 2006 at the cost of N197 billion was later raised  to N349.8 billion in 2009.

Orubebe made this disclosure while appearing before the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).

He assured that if the fund is made available, the project, which is already 66.6 per cent completed, would be delivered by the end of the year.

According to the the minister,  that due to pressure from the people of the region, the contract was awarded without drawing and detailed designs.

'The contract was only eight to 10 per cent executed until 2010 when designs were done and financial plans drawn. Today, the work has gone up to 66.6 per cent and it would hopefully be completed by December this year', he said.

He also told the Committee that out of the total sum, N236.1 billion has been paid to contractors, N51.7 billion of which was paid by SURE-P. According to him, the sum of N5 billion is yet to be expended in the 2013 appropriation.

Defending the upward review of the contract sum, the minister explained that the 42 bridges and 1040 culverts were discovered at a later date, when proper designs were carried out.

Chairman of the Committee, described the contract, which has lingered for over nine years, as a tragedy. He stated that with all the interventions, the road has continued to drag.