Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has drawn the attention of the federal government to the need to amend its procurement law in order to end incessant abandonment of projects that it handles.
Governor Wike made these remarks at the inauguration of the Rumuokwuta/Rumuola Flyover (12th Flyover) on Wednesday, which was performed by the President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The Rivers State governor explained that the current procurement law of the Federal Government only allows for about 15/30 percent to be paid as mobilisation fee to a contractor.
Such meagre sum, he said, usually does not allow the contractor to make appreciably progress on the project before being caught up by inflation effects and high cost of materials, which eventually requires variation of the contract terms.
Governor Wike said when he noticed a similar snag in the procurement law in Rivers State, on assumption of duties, he interfaced with the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, who worked together with other lawmakers to amend the then existing law.
With the amended law, governor Wike emphasized that his administration got the latitude to pay an upward of 70 percent mobilisation fee to contractors handling various projects in the State.
The governor noted that such practice has led to the great accomplishment recorded in the delivery of development projects in the State by his administration.
Governor Wike said the Phase two of Ahoada-Omoku -Egbema road and the Emohua-Tema Junction road projects that are ongoing are at the cost of N80B.
The payment pattern, he explained, that is adopted is a monthly deduction of N4B by the contractor from the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the State, which will last 18 months that the projects will be completed.
Commenting on the 12th flyover bridge, Governor Wike explained that it is one among others started from 2019 and delivered by his administration.
The governor stressed that ordinarily some of the flyovers are on federal roads and the State should be refunded by the Federal government. He therefore, requested the incoming administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu to consider a possible refund to the Rivers State.
This, he pointed out, will serve as a motivation to other States, which will feel more encouraged to also work on federal roads in their jurisdiction.
Inaugurating the Rumuokwuta/Rumuola Flyover, the President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu noted that his presence to perform the duties of opening the flyover for public use is another way of building bridge, most essential for the country.
Tinubu also described governor Wike as a dependable ally, one who promoted the unity of Nigeria, fairness and championed Justice.
Without succumbing to gossips and speculations, Tinubu noted that governor Wike stood his ground as a principled man and worked for the presidency to come to the south.
“In His Excellency (Nyesom Ezenwo Wike), I see a man of principle, he took a principle stand that the presidency must return to South and he had the courage to stand by his conviction, not minding whose horse is gored. He is indeed a man of great integrity, he did not chose to serve his own interest. Not about him, rather the interest of the nation. You promoted unity, you promoted fairness, you championed justice. Thank you.”
He commended the audacity demonstrated by governor Wike in delivering quality projects to Rivers people to make them happy, create excitement for them and enhanced development across the State.
The president-elect said the demand for a refund on the flyover bridges so constructed on federal roads, though a worthy request, should not be borne with the mindset that he is owing the State because the projects are within Rivers and are used by the people.
President-elect, Tinubu, however, said there will be need for governor Wike to further discuss the issues with him and intensify his lobby to secure the refund.
The president-elect recalled that he went through gruesome campaign, fought hard, and with the likes of governor Wike providing structural support, he won the presidential election squarely.
“Nyesom, I say thank you for your contribution to my victory. I couldn’t have done it without some structural support.”
The President-Elect commended the Rivers State governor elect, Sir Siminalayi Fubara for his electoral victory.
In his description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr. George-Kelly Dakorinama Alabo said the Rumuokwuta/Rumuola Flyover Bridge is 1007.5 meters long, completed in 8 month instead of 10 months and delivered to eliminate traffic congestion by 98 percent in the State.
According to him, the flyover is the longest of the flyovers constructed by the Wike’s administration and has district features because whereas the other eleven flyovers are straight, it has a parabolic curve with a curvature radios of 225 meters.
In his welcome remark, Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, George Ariolu said the Rumuokwuta/Rumuola Flyover bridge is the 12th among similar projects that was conceived and constructed by governor Wike.
He noted that, as an evidence of the legendary infrastructural achievement of the governor, the 12th flyover has greatly eased vehicular traffic, boosting commerce and improved the aesthetics of the metropolis.
Some of the dignitaries present at the occasion include the wife of the Rivers State governor, Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; governors of Oyo State, Seye Makinde; Muhammadu Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), Senator Hope Uzodinma (Imo), David Umahi (Ebonyi).
Other are former governors of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili; Chief Abdulkareem Adebisi Bamidele Akande (Osun), James Ibori (Delta), Chief Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Chief Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa).