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FG approves final N280 billion for Bodo-Bonny road completion

The Federal Government has approved a final N280 billion for Julius Berger Nigeria PLC to complete the Bodo-Bonny road project in Rivers State.

This announcement was made by the Honourable Minister of Works, David Umahi, during his inspection visit to the project site on Wednesday, as reported on the Ministry’s website.

Minister Umahi set December 2024 as the deadline for the project’s completion and urged the contractor to strictly adhere to this timeline, with the goal of resolving the longstanding transportation challenges in Bodo-Bonny once and for all.

“The Federal Government has approved the total and final sum of N280 billion for the completion of Bodo-Bonny road project.

“This was revealed by the Honourable Minister of Works, His Excellency, Sen. Engr. Nweze David Umahi CON during his inspection visit to the project site this 19th June 2024. He warned that the contractor handling the project, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, must work round the clock to beat the project delivery timeline of December 2024,” the statement read in part.

Umahi emphasized to the Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. that, regardless of any unexpected challenges or difficulties, the cost of the project will not be increased beyond the approved amount. He insisted that the project must be completed to a high standard.

The Works Minister highlighted the urgency by noting that the project has been ongoing for 11 years and must be finished within this year, setting December 15, 2024, as the deadline for completion.

More insights

  • The statement also revealed that Umahi praised the perseverance of the Bodo-Bonny Peace Committee and the cooperation and integrity of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in funding the project.
  • NLNG representative Dienye Godson, on behalf of the company, expressed gratitude to the President and his team for their determination to complete the project.
  • He noted that NLNG is pleased with the progress and will now review its internal processes to provide as much support as possible to the government.
  • In response, the project manager from Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. assured that they will continue their efforts without hesitation and will expedite the re-mobilization of the project to demonstrate their full commitment.
  • He acknowledged the Minister of Works’ statement and emphasized the need for everyone involved to work together diligently as partners to ensure the project’s success.

What you should know

The contractor handling the Bodo-Bonny road project, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc., had abandoned the 35.7-kilometer project, which includes 13 bridges: three main bridges, nine mini bridges, and one bridge over a pipeline.

This road is set to be the first to connect oil-rich Bonny Island to mainland Rivers State. The abandonment occurred because Julius Berger was seeking additional funds for the project.

In 2021, Julius Berger requested a review of the contract, but the Federal Government maintained that this was against the original agreement signed in 2017 by the three parties: the Federal Government, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.

The agreement stipulated that the project would be completed without seeking additional funds.

The Federal Government’s refusal to accept the contractor’s request for a variation led to the abandonment of the Bodo-Bonny road project.

In December 2023, the Federal Government directed Julius Berger to return to the site and complete the project, faulting the company for seeking a project variation despite the agreement.

However, Julius Berger did not comply and refused to return until their request for an upward variation was eventually approved by the Federal Government in June 2024.


Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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