Aidoghie Paulinus, Owerri
Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola has said that the current Buhari administration paid road contractors in the South East more than the previous administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
The Minister stated Thursday this during the inspection of Ikot Ekpene Boarder-Aba-Owerri dualization road, Section I, Phase I.
Fashola, while interacting with the contractor handling the project, said “for the construction of the 11.26km Ikot-Ekpene Boarder-Aba-Owerri dualization road, Section One, Phase One, the Federal Government has so far paid Arab Contractors double the amount paid to them by the previous government on same road.
“Arab Contractors claim that compared to the previous governments payment of N567,148,219.75 in four years, the present administration has in two years, so far paid N1,094,798,091.81 for the project estimated at N3,780, 988,125.0.”
Fashola further said the contractor promised that the section will be completed before December.
He added that the overlays will be completed early next year.
“We will complete the first phase dualization project and, after Christmas, we will complete the overlays on the other side of the road.
“So, the Buhari government has paid you double in two years what you received in four years before.
“The level of satisfaction received on this road means the government is doing a good job. That is what it means: satisfaction with what the government is doing is change.
“A few years ago, it was dissatisfaction. So, for those who ask you what change means, ask them, tell them that change means that the beneficiaries of the road are satisfied with what the President is doing,” Fashola said.
The Minister also inspected one of the housing projects in the state.
He said that the government has approved the payment of over N4 billion as payment to contractors of national housing program.
“The work is in progress, the main objective of this intervention has been to commence work. Thus, this model for instance, we have been told will have six flats on each floor, four of those flats are two bedrooms, one a one bedroom and one, a three bedroom, the same thing is replicated on four floors.
“So, we have twenty four flats. This is the model we are adopting. We are also testing out some bungalows on the other side; the very thing we needed to achieve, we have achieved; (to) get people back to work and the economy out of recession.
“We have approved further payment for contractors, I think we approved over N4 billion for contractors under the housing scheme. So, each contractor will get his own verified portion across the states that the works have been satisfied for them to pay.
“But what I want to say to them is that they should keep doing the work, they will be paid. With the program, in some cases, we are in roofing, plastering or foundation in all the 33 states; the pilot state for Abia will deliver 72 flats.
“I keep saying, with this housing project, President Buhari has delivered for this people. For me, the President has targeted the most vulnerable people, this is what change means to them,” Fashola added.
On his part, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Arab Contractors, Engr. Mohammed El-Edaros, corroborated Fashola’s statement on payment of contractors.
“This is the payment we received in four years in the last administration and this is the payment for just two years in this administration, which is double the amount paid… which is why Arab Contractors come here everyday. We are being paid and we are doing the work,” El-Edaros said.