President Goodluck Jonathan has bemoaned the abandonment of the Obodo-Boni Road project in Rivers State.
He noted that there were lapses in the first procurement of the project which, according to him, was awarded during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, with Chief Tony Anenih as minister of works then.
The president, who spoke when he received a delegation of traditional rulers from Bonny Kingdom yesterday at the State House, Abuja, argued that since 2002 when the contract was awarded, if five kilometres of the road had been constructed every year, the project would have attained a considerable level of completion.
Jonathan said his administration had to review the project with proper procurement and design as well as cost, assuring that nothing would stop the project this time around.
“I won’t want to bore you with details of the lapses in the first procurement of the Obodo-Boni Road. Why the contract didn’t hold was because there were major lapses. It is almost like the story of the East-West Road that was awarded without proper design and so with time, it got stuck.
“…About the Boni road project, if the previous governments had been doing it 5km a year, by now, we would have gone far. That was during former president Olusegun Obasanjo regime when Chief Tony Anenih was minister of works”, he said.
Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, who noted that the contract was awarded in 2002 to Gitto Conzoni Ltd, said it had been terminated and re-awarded to another contractor since late last year “to pave way for the restructuring of the project”.
He added: “Proposals are being made for construction to start again. About two different teams have assessed the road from the Obodo side. The proposal is right now being analysed. I want to assure the king and people of Bonny that the federal government is on the verge of re-procuring that all-important Obodo-Bonny Road, and this time around, we’re going to get it right because we are already collaborating with the management of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas whose managing director has paid me more than four visits”.