The Senate Committee on Works on Wednesday faulted the Federal Ministry of Works for paying N4bn mobilisation fees for the construction of 11 major highways in the country.
The committee insisted the contractors didn’t deserve to be paid because they did not work on the roads last year.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, told ministry’s delegation led by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, that the development was unacceptable.
Gaya directed the ministry to brief the committee on the details of the contracts awarded in 2015 and their status at a later date.
He said, “Eleven contractors have collected mobilisation fees and there is zero implementation. Some collected N500m and one of the contractors collected N1bn.
“For instance, in the case of the Otukpo (Benue State) township road dualisation, N1bn was paid to the contractors. Minister, you need to check that and give us the details (of the mobilisation fees paid) in the next meeting.
“There is no point giving a contractor a mobilisation fee when he cannot perform.”
He urged Fashola to consider fixing some of the major roads this year.
He said that the committee would work on the 2016 Budget proposal to ensure that funds were properly and adequately allocated.
Some projects identified by the committee for immediate fixing are the Lokoja-Okene, Oyo-Ogbomosho, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Kano-Maiduguri, Lokoja-Benin and Apapa-Oworonshoki roads.
Fashola, explained that not all the contractors given money had zero performances, adding that only N9.9bn out of the N19bn set aside for mobilising the road contractors was paid.
He said, “It is important to take the assessment that the committee has made on mobilisation into context. In my document, contract performance is not zero. My understanding here is that, going by the entire contract sum of N9.9bn, by law, the contractors should get at least 15 per cent to move to site.
“The part where we have zero performance in the document, if a contractor was supposed to get N1.5m and he got N500m, he cannot be mobilised. We will check and get back to you,’’
The former Lagos State Governor said N10bn was budgeted for work on the Abuja-Lokoja road, N16bn for the Kano-Maiduguri road, while the rehabilitation of the Apapa-Oworonshoki road would gulp N5bn.