The Eleme-Onne segment of the East-West Road in Rivers State is under emergency reconstruction, per an order from the federal government.
The directive was given by Minister of Works David Umahi in Port Harcourt yesterday during a media conference with reporters.
The decision, according to the previous governor of Ebonyi State, was made because the project’s contractor used inferior materials.
The minister expressed disappointment at the poor progress of work despite the government having paid an advance of N33 billion to ensure that no sharp practices were recorded. He mentioned that he had seen ongoing work on the projects the day before.
According to him, the project’s inconsistencies needed to be fixed before further work could begin.
He said: “The project must benefit the people, we don’t care. The raining season is coming in two months and the people will keep suffering. You have our N33 billion. Do you know how the interest rate is every month on the bill?”
Umahi claimed that after certain Rivers State natives visited him, the President gave him an order to pay the sum of N33 billion for the start of the road’s construction in September.
When he arrived at the site in September, he claimed to have found that the contractors had not been using the requisite river sharp sand.
“What we paid for is river sharp sand. I’m not satisfied. When I saw that sand, I wasn’t happy,” he said.
The minister said he had directed that the sand be removed but was “very shocked that instead of removing the sand, they had continued with the sand.
“The contractor is carrying out the job, but at snail speed. If we allow him even another five years, he will not finish it. So we are not going to allow him.”
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