By Nat Apir
To grow the economy and create new jobs we must invest in infrastructural renewal and construction. This is standard practice in developed countries.
One of the reasons for our depressed economy, and continuous lack of economic growth is capital flight.
As I drove through BSU I saw quite a lot of buildings underconstruction while some have been completed. But almost 90% of the contractors are not Benue based.
Ditto road construction. Tilley Gyado and Sons the only indigenous road construction company was awarded the Ge – Ikyobo – Agbeede – Amua – Anshagba road but the company could not complete the project.
Haijag did most of the Township roads. This company is owned by Kano based Lebanese . Haijag abandoned the Aliade – Mbakine – Obarike road after collecting huge payments from government. Thank God Governor Ortom has ordered them to make refunds to the BNSG. They must have taken out close to =N= 20 billion from the state.
The story is the same with Dantata & Sawoe , PW, Rockbridge , CCGC? and this other one that was awarded the Adikpo – KotiYough – Vandeikya Road with a spur at some place. These are all foreign contractors, and they may have taken out of Benue close to =N= 200 billion between them!
Where is local content? That one Indigenous contractor did not do well does not mean that others will not!
We have a lot of brilliant civil engineers but most are idle. Guys pull together and come up with ideas that challenge the system. Form companies and hire equipment if need be to start up.
Bid for road construction contracts. Bid for building contracts. Form partnerships. This Idea of every one wanting to be MD/CEO of his company is not helping us.
Get performance guarantee bonds or Insurance for projects or contracts that are awarded to you or those you are bidding for. Establish trust with your project sponsors.
Most of these foreign companies that come here and get billion Naira contacts use a part of the mobilization fee paid them to buy construction equipment. Very often they come only with their brief cases but leave Benue State as billionaires.
The Government too must be seen to be encouraging our young upstarts in the construction industry. This idea of awarding contracts that require specialized skills to politicians is also not helping matters. There must be a new paradigm.
Who says the Mone Aernyis, Mtaver Gwazas, Bemdoo Hulughs , Aper Zavas and a whole lot of others cannot come together and float a company with government support by way of patronage through contact awards.
If you don’t try you are guaranteed to fail but if you try you MAY fail!
Lets form enduring partnerships that work for us all.
Build Partnerships for Project Execution
By Nat Apir