It was vintage Wike on Monday as the
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) warned contractors against colluding with officials of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) to frustrate the timely completion of projects.
Prior to the warning, he had taken on the officials of FCDA for the shoddy arrangements for h which led to an embarrassing situation with the microphone he was to use. He warned that if the situation repeated itself he would hit back, wondering aloud that if they could not deal with the issue of a microphone, how could they run thd Federal Capital Territory. (See video below):
The minister stressed that the FCT Administration would no longer accept the variation of contracts adding that the Administration had the finances to pay the contractors and assured that every aspect of the project has been considered, thereby foreclosing the possibility of any variation.
Wike was flagging off the resurfacing/rehabilitation of existing roads and remedial works on bridges within the Federal Capital City, a situation that would lead to the temporary closure and repair of roads. An advertisement and a sensitisation jingle has been floated in the media to prepare residents. (See video of jingle below):
Speaking in both regular and pidgin English, the Minister said, “To the contractors, let me warn you now; all these things wey una de do with engineering services, e no go work again. Nothing like variation. It will not work. A Job of one Naira; in the next seven days, it now becomes fifteen naira, it will not work.
“So, don’t even try it. There is no variation in this job. We have the money to pay you. So, if you like, go to engineering services and do anything with them; it will not work. We are paying you your money and I assure you, nobody will owe you a dime. We are going to pay you and you must finish within the time we have agreed with you.”
Carrying out the flag-off exercise in the Garki II District of the FCT on Monday, Wike disclosed that the road resurfacing/rehabilitation project in the district falls under phase one of the project, adding that work would also commence in the Entire Garki District in the next few weeks.
According to the Minister, the provision of road infrastructure, is one of the many benefits that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has promised residents of the FCT, adding that other aspects of development in the FCT would also be addressed in due course under the renewed hope agenda of the President.
He therefore urged the traditional rulers and other residents of the FCT to give maximum support and cooperation to the contractors working on the project to ensure it is completed within schedule.
According to the Minister, “My dear people of FCT, Mr. President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed the FCT Minister of State and my humble self to assure you that his agenda of renewed hope works.
“What we have come to do today is to assure you that the agenda of renewed hope of Mr President is not just by talking but also putting it into practice. That is why we have come to start with flagging off of a number of roads in this area. This is just phase one. In the next few weeks, we will go to phase two, which is the entire Garki.
“This is about road infrastructure. There are so many things that Mr. President has promised. Just be patient, we are taking it one after the other. That is the message I have told you here.”
The Minister further assured that the FCT Administration will do everything within its powers to bring about a turnaround in the fortunes of the FCT in line with the visions of the city’s founding fathers.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmad, explained that the road resurfacing project is designed to rehabilitate a substantial number of dilapidated roads within the phase one of the FCT, which were developed in the 1980s, in order to prolong their lifespan.
He said the project will involve scarification and removal of existing asphalt in some locations, while in other places, it will require milling and asphalt overlay.
He said about 135 roads covering 42 kilometers in Wuse, Garki and some areas in Maitama and Asokoro Districts are ivolved in the rehabilitation and resurfacing exercise.
The project, when completed, according to the Executive Secretary, will improve the flow of traffic in the FCT, reduce travel time and make the roads even safer.
He therefore commended the FCT Minister for deeming it necessary to take on the project as a priority, adding that the replacement of gully inlet covers as well as the rehabilitation of drainage systems will also be undertaken.
The Minister of State in her remarks said that there has been tremendous positive feedback from residents of the FCT for improvements of streetlights and sanitation in the city and also praised the commitment of the Minister to improving the FCT as no 48 hours passes without project sites being visited
Representative of the contractors working on the project, Obada Zabadne, who is also the CEO ZBMC Ltd, assured that the contractors were very committed and would work very hard in the next few months to achieve the objectives and possibly surpass expectations in the FCT.