TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Government and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc have signed an agreement for the construction of three flyover bridges to further develop Port Harcourt and resolve traffic congestion in the city.
The Attorney-General of Rivers State, Dr. Zaccheus Adango, led officials of the state government during the signing process, while the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr. Lars Richter, led the Julius Berger team.
The length of the flyover bridges include Artillery 1 and 2: 517.5 metres, Rumuokoro 360 metres and Garrison 360 metres.
Speaking after the agreement-signing ceremony, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, declared that the flyover bridges would be completed within 16 months and in line with approved specifications.
He said that the state government would pay 70 percent of the contract sum to ensure that the contractor executed the three flyover bridges on schedule.
He said: “These three flyover bridges will be completed within 16 months as agreed with the contractor. This contract will cost about N21 billion.
“We are going to pay 70 percent of the contract sum upfront. After payment, we expect Julius Berger to give us the required quality and on schedule.”
Governor Wike said there would be no excuse for variation or extension of the time of project completion.
“There should be no excuse. This contract should be completed within schedule. When the government pays Julius Berger the 70 percent upfront, there will be no variation.
“Everything has been done. What is left is compensation. The money for compensation has been set aside”, he said.
Governor Wike said that the simultaneous construction of the three flyover bridges would generate thousands of jobs for Rivers people within the period of construction.
The governor charged the management of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to ensure that Rivers people were given priority in the employment of construction workers. He said that Rivers people will always benefit from Rivers resources.
Aside the construction of the flyover bridges, Governor Wike said that his administration had awarded contracts for the reconstruction and expansion of key roads in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas.
He said: “Most of the roads have been awarded for construction. We have the New GRA, the Old GRA, Ikwerre Road and other key roads. They will be handled by major contractors.
“Our second term will be like the first term. I appreciate the opportunity that Rivers people gave to me and I will repay them with quality service and projects delivery,” he promised.
He called on host communities of the flyover bridges to cooperate with the contractor to ensure a speedy delivery of the contract.
“Our people should make sacrifices for us to achieve success. We want to change the landscape of Port Harcourt. The flag off will take place next week Tuesday,” he said.
Governor Wike said that he would continue to place the interest of the state above other considerations
He said: “The only political party that I belong to is Rivers State. Anything that is against the interest of Rivers State, count me out.
“For this project, I am directly responsible for community relations. I will liaise with the communities to ensure that nobody stops the development process.”
He stated that the state government chose Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to execute the project because of the administration’s commitment to quality.
Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr. Richter, assured that the company would deliver the three flyover bridges within the approved 16 months period.
He said: “Julius Berger will deliver the projects in the record time of 16 months. Governor Wike, I assure you that Julius Berger will deliver.”
He said that Julius Berger would continue to partner the Rivers State government to deliver quality projects across the state.
Also, he said that Julius Berger had delivered quality projects under the Wike-led administration.
During his inauguration for a second term, Governor Wike promised Rivers people that he would construct three flyover bridges in Port Harcourt.