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FG promises Julius Berger that they will take “compassionate” measures

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The Minister of Works, Senator David Umahi, has called on Julius Berger to respect the spirit and letters of the tripartite agreement on Bodo-Bonny road in River state and go back to the site.

A statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Minister, Barrister Orji Uchenna Orji, said Umahi gave the directive when the management of Nigeria NLG Ltd led by its MD/ CEO, Dr. Philip Mshelbilla, visited him in his office.

Umahi, however, assured that the federal government would offer compassionate considerations on the remaining 16% uncompleted job without necessarily expanding the contract envelope.

The minister also commended Nigeria NLG Limited for its commitment to funding the completion of the Bodo-Bonny Federal road in Rivers State in line with the tripartite agreement with the Federal Government and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, and for indicating interest in connecting the road to East-West Road to maximize the economic potentials of the area.

“Thank you very much. When I see Nigerians who are standing for the country, I feel very excited because Nigeria is our only country. We can’t mortgage the country; we can’t sell the country. I saw your letter concerning requests by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the contractor, to increase the contract sum.

“And you and your board together with your team vehemently stood against that. That gave me some teeth to bite because I saw a commitment by all parties that this project would not increase beyond the augmented amount of 199,000,000,000. So, I want to commend you for that.

“I discovered by the letters of JB that they have abandoned the site, and that’s against the contract they signed, even if they needed to leave the site, the general conditions of the contract specify the procedures for notices in such a circumstance.

“Well, we have discussed with them and I said, we are going to look at the remaining 16% on compassionate ground and see whether there is any merit, and we can see if there is any money left in the contingency, but definitely will not expand the envelope.
Expanding the envelope means you are going back to your Board.

“Expanding the envelope means my going back to Federal Inland Revenue, going back to BPP, going back to Mr. President, going back to Federal Executive Council. So it’s a long journey, and that will not allow that project to be completed as planned”, he said.

Speaking on behalf of the management of Nigeria NLG Ltd, the MD/CEO reiterated the vision of the company in not only building a globally competitive LNG company but also in contributing towards building a better Nigeria by delivering quality infrastructure through projects such as the Bobo-Bonny road being funded by NLNG.

He assured that everything possible would be done to complete the road on time as provided under the agreement bearing in mind the concerns of the contractor handling the project.

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