2nd Niger Bridge: South East N/A Caucus Petitions Jonathan Over Contractor

Source: SAINT MUGAGA - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, Sept 05, (THEWILL) - The South East caucus in the National Assembly has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to stop the planned award of the contract for the construction of the second Niger bridge to GITTO Nigeria Limited saying the company is incompetent.

The group in a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan signed by Senate Committee Chairman on Housing, Senator Okechukwu Obiora and his public petitions counterpart in the House of Representatives, Hon. Cyril Maduabum operating under the auspices of the Anambra State Caucus in the National Assembly expressed displeasure over the plan to award the contract to the company.

The petition reads: "We members of Anambra State Caucus and the entire South East Caucus in the National Assembly write to express our displeasure over the proposed re-award of the 2nd Niger Bridge project contract to GITTO NIGERIA LIMITED.

"Your Excellency will recall that the 2nd Niger Bridge was built almost fifty years ago. The Bridge is in imminent danger of collapse with the attendant risks to lives of people using the bridge daily. The economic implication of such collapse to the South East /South South/South West in particular and Nigeria in general cannot be over emphasized.

"Your Excellency also will recall that the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge was awarded to GITTO Nigeria Ltd under the government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy. The contract valued at N58.6B was flagged off by former President Obasanjo in May 2007".

According to the lawmakers, "under the PPP arrangements, GITTO Nigeria Ltd undertook to make 60% contribution for the construction of the bridge while the Federal Government would contribute 20%. Delta and Anambra State Governments were expected to contribute 10% each. GITTO NIGERIA LIMITED never mobilized to site let alone making any "contribution" for the project."

The caucus expressed worry over the alleged failure of GITTO NIG LTD to execute the Project. "We successfully sponsored motions in both Chambers of the National Assembly calling on the Federal Government to terminate the contract awarded and takeover the responsibility of the project."

The group also noted that the "Executive Council of the Federation under the leadership of Your Excellency graciously terminated the contract awarded to GITTO NIG LTD on June 16, 2010 and directed the Ministry of Works to "engage a reputable consultant and commence a new procurement process for an award of contract for the project".

They further noted that almost all the Federal Roads in the South East are in deplorable condition not caused by lack of provision of funds in the Budget of the Federal Government for the roads but due to fraud and incompetence on the part of the contractors awarded the projects.

They therefore called on the president to stop the re-award of the all important 2nd Niger Bridge to GITTO Nig. Ltd.