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We will meet Bi-Courtney in court – Onolememen

* FEC approves N170bn for road construction

The Federal Government has challenged Bi-Courtney Consortium to go to court over the terminated concession of the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway granted on May 8, 2009, and the concession agreement signed by the parties on May 26, 2009.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents on the threat of Bi-courtney to go to court after Today’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen said the Federal Government was prepared for any legal battle as it observed the rules of disengagement as stated in the agreement having repeatedly written to Bi-Courtney to remedy the situation, to no avail.

The Federal Government announced the termination of the contract on Monday and awarded same to both Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and R.C.C Nigeria Limited to commence work immediately on the reconstruction of the expressway.

While Julius Berger would handle section 1: from Lagos to Shagamu interchange, RCC Nigeria Limited will be responsible for section II: from Shagamu to Ibadan.

Onolememen reiterated that the termination of the concession was as a result of the serial breaches of the concession agreement by Bi-Courtney Consortium and especially the failure of the company to reach financial close as provided for in the agreement.

The Minister said: “That concession was governed by law, the agreement is the governing instrument for that concession. And the obligations of the parties were well spelt out in that agreement and at every point in time, every party was in the know as to what it was doing either in conformity with the obligation in the agreement or in breach of those obligations. As a party, the government at a time had to address a letter to Bicourtney detailing the serial breaches it has committed on that particular concession and inviting the company to remedy those breaches given the days of grace as provided for in the agreement, failing which government did not have to invite them again to another meeting to terminate it.

It is one of the rights given to government as a guarantor in the concession to terminate when certain things go wrong in the section prescribed in the agreement. And that is precisely what government did. So they are free to go to court and government will meet them in the law court.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved about N170 billion for roads construction across the country.

Briefing newsmen on the various projects, Onolememen said council approved “award of contracts for dualization of Obajana-Okene road in Kogi state to Messrs CGC Nigeria Limited in the sum of N11.6 billion with completion period of 24 months.”

The minister said Council also approved Okene-Auchi road to Mothercat Limited in the cost of N11 billion to be completed in 42 months.

Other roads contract awarded are; Auchi-Ehor road to Dantata and Sawoe (N11.6 billion), dualization of Obajana junction to Benin to RCC Limited (N11.6 billion), Gashua-Bayamari road in Yobe state to CCECC (N6.5 billion) and Ugep-Ikom-Ogoja-Katsina Ala road to CCECC (N3.9 billion) with the total cost of the contract revised from N5.2bn to N9bn with completion period of 30 months.

Another major road contract awarded was the augmentation of the dualization of Kano-Maiduguri road section 1: (Kano-Wudil-Shuarin) in Kano state.

The contract sum was revised from N37 billion to N55 billion in favour of Dantata and Sawoe while contract for Shuarin-Azare to Dutse was also revised from N35.8 billion to N65.3 billion. Contract for other sections of the road have also been reviewed.

Contract for construction of the flyover at Kundila roundabout in Kano was also awarded to Rocad Construction Limited in the sum of N2.4 billion with completion period of 18 months.

 

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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