The House of Representatives is probing into allegation surrounding the inflation of roads contracts to the tune of N150.6 billion being handled by Julius Berger
The decision followed the adoption of a motion under matters of urgent importance initiated by Abubakar Kabir Abubakar at the plenary presided by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
Officials of the federal ministry of works and Housing (FMWH), the presidential infrastructure development fund (PIDF) and the Nigeria sovereign investment authority (NSIA) who played various roles in the funding of the roads projects.
The House particularly directed the Mr Abubakar led Works committee to probe into the level of work done on the Lagos -Ibadan expressway worth N19,520,949,317,16, Abuja -Kaduna-Zaria-Kano expressway worth N50,856,044,301.27, and the 2nd Niger bridge worth N80,242,079,039,46 in order to determine if the amount disbursed so far has a commensurate value with the job done so far.
The committee was also mandated to determine if Julius Berger has the capacity to deliver the contracts awarded.
Abubakar while leading debate on the motion claimed that the slow pace of work on the three critical projects has resulted in traffic congestion, fatal accidents and a downturn in the economy of the states bordering the projects sites.
Abubakar (Kano: APC) claimed that based on the findings of his committee, there is a potential conflict of interest in Julius Berger ‘s involvement in the 2nd Niger Bridge made up of 3 sections – the bridge, Benin -Asaba expressway and Onitsha -Enugu expressway .
He noted: “Julius Berger is involved in all these three critical projects and other major roads projects under SUKUK . All these projects are lagging behind schedule, which brings to fore Julius Berger’s capacity to handle the projects simultaneously.
” The use of direct procurement in accordance with action 42 of the public procurement Act in awarding these contracts as against the opening competitive bidding has deprived Nigerians of transparency due process and potential to save money.”