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Tony Osauzo, Benin
Worried by the approaching rainy season, residents of 10 communities located along Saint Saviour road in Benin City, Edo State, at the weekend, cried out that the slow pace of construction work on their 15.33 km road by NSIK Engineering Company, would lead to flooding of their houses.
The residents also raised concern over lack of proper drainage to channel flood water to the Ikpoba River and alleged sub-standard work being executed by the firm.
Recall that Governor Obaseki had in October last year, awarded the contract for the construction of the road at a cost of N3. 55 billion be completed in 30 months.
The bad condition of the St Saviour road destroyed economic activities of the various communities as there are little or no vehicular movement on the road, especially during the rainy season.
According Pa Edward Osayi, who spoke to journalists in Benin, the drainage being constructed was too narrow to carry the huge volume of water.
But General Manager of the construction firm, Kingsley Edafioghor, in his reaction, said the construction was not of low standard but according to the job specification given to them.
He attributed the delay in executing the road project to failure of the project Consultant in providing flood discharge point in the design of the road.
“The drainage size is what is in the design. It is what they asked us to do. It was even lesser than that. After negotiations and argument, we had to increase it. We wanted to widen it but they said they want to cut cost and it is what they can afford. It can take the volume of water.
“If they respond to us fast and give us what we need, we will deliver on time. The discharge point was not in our bill and we cannot do what we were not paid for.
“We are contractors. We have consultant and client the (State Government ). We made a proposal to the consultant on the need to provide a discharge point. We told them they designed the road without making provision for discharge point. They presented the proposal to the client, we are waiting for them.
“If they tell us to go ahead we will start it. We are waiting for their authorisation. The constraints on the road is discharge point. The work is moving slowly. If we have a discharge point, that is where we will start from. We can’t wait for them anymore because the communities cannot wait any longer. They want to see the road constructed. We need to do something for the people to see”, the General Manager said.