No project has stopped under Tinubu’s watch- Wike

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By Philip Yatai

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, on Thursday, expressed excitement that no project initiated by the FCT Administration had stopped under President Bola Tinubu’s watch.

Wike, who stated this after an inspection tour of some of the projects in Abuja, said that most of the projects would be completed and commissioned by Tinubu in May.

The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that Wike, on assumption into office in August 2023 as the FCT Minister, resuscitated some abandoned projects, particularly roads and other public facilities.

Some of the projects include the rehabilitation of Abuja Rail Mass Transit System, construction of Nigeria Cultural Centre and Millennium Tower, rehabilitation of Federal Secretariat, completion of the Vice President’s Residence and resurfacing of existing roads.

Others are the completion of road B6, B12 and Circle Road in Abuja Central Area, full scope development of Northern N-20 Expressway in Jahi District, from Northern Parkway to Outer Northern Expressway.

Also penciled for completion is the expansion of Outer Southern Expressway from Villa Roundabout to Osex/Ring Road I Junction, including four interchanges and provision of access road to Kabusa Garden Estate.

Wike also promised to complete the construction of Southern Parkway from Christian Centre to Ring Road I, and the rehabilitation of National Christian Centre and National Mosque.

“Since President Tinubu came on board, no work has stopped in all the sites. There are so many of these sites, but it will be difficult to take them all at the same time.

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“We believe that in May, and before December, some of the projects will be handed over to the members of the public.

“The inspection is part of our routine inspection of ongoing projects, particularly those we have promised the public that God willing, by May this year, the projects will have been completed.

“What we did today was to go round to see for ourselves whether the contractors are meeting up with expectations,” Wike said.

The minister expressed satisfaction with the progress of the road construction and resurfacing so far, particularly at Guzape Lot II, which he said was going on very fast.

He said that the contractor, Gilmor Construction Company, “is doing all it can to meet up the date line, and we believe they are going to accomplish it.

“Except for one setback, where a lawmaker is stopping the contractor from further construction of one of the roads.

“We are not going to take it lightly. This is not a private project: it is a public project handled by the FCT Administration.

“If there is any complaint, we think that whoever has a problem should complain to us and not go and use police to stop a legitimate company, carrying out construction work for the use of the public.

“These projects were approved by the Federal Executive Council,” he said.

The minister directed the contractor to go ahead with the road construction, adding that the project was part of those to be commissioned by President Tinubu in May.

Wike, who also inspected the B6 and B12 road, Independence Avenue, in the Central Area, being handled by Julius Berger, also expressed satisfaction with the progress of work.

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“The representative of the company said that in May, they will hand it over. We are very happy,” he said.

Wike, however, complained that the security barriers erected by the Central Bank of Nigeria have constituted an obstruction to the ongoing road project in the area.

The minister, who said the obstruction would not be accepted, said: “One thing with institutions is that, when they apply for land and we give them, they go beyond what was given to them to cause obstruction.

“I have always said, anything for the public, we will not take for granted. So, we want the central bank to allow us to use what belongs to us for the interest of the public.

“By and large, we are very very happy with what we have seen,” Wike said.

In a related development, the minister expressed dissatisfaction with some of the contractors handling some of the road resurfacing projects in parts of the city.

Wike, in a meeting with some of the contractors, after the inspection tour, said unofficial visits to some of the project sites revealed some inactivity in those sites.

He asked the contractors to show him where they were working, adding that nobody collected mobilisation and would not show seriousness.

“I have also said before and will continue to say it; we will not award contracts when we don’t have money. Any contract that is awarded since I came on board, know that there is cash backing.

“I am not talking before; I am talking about since the inception of President Tinubu’s government. There is no need for awarding contracts when there is no cash.

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“So, having mobilised you, I was thinking by now, we would have seen a lot of equipment on sites.

He asked the contractors to tell him the sections each of their companies were handling, “where they are working, and what stage they are at, and I am tired of memo.

“No, I don’t want a memo again, what I want is seeing physical presence, I am tired of memo,” Wike repeated.

The minister, who said he was not happy with the resurfacing contracts awarded in December 2023, asked the contractors to indicate if they are not ready to deliver as agreed. (NAN)

Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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